Karzai Government Slams 'Premature' Election Results

Could just be a move to influence results from a final, lingering province
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2010 7:42 AM CST
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, on his way to deliver a speech on women's rights, in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – The results are in and the government of President Hamid Karzai is none too pleased: As the United Nations stepped up to endorse Afghanistan's long-awaited parliamentary election results yesterday, Karzai's government promised to challenge the outcome. The New York Times reports that Karzai can count on about 100 of the 249 members of the lower house being loyal to him, a number that appears not to be high enough for him. He's also on the receiving end of complaints from the many losers, who are pressuring him to void the election, in which at least 25% of the ballots were tossed out over fraud concerns.

Yesterday, his attorney general released a statement condemning the "premature" results, which he believes should not have been released until after his office finished its criminal investigations into voter fraud, adding, "This organization declares decisively that it will not confirm the results of the election and promises our countrymen that it will honestly continue to investigate these cases." The Times notes that the government has no legal way in which to undo the results; its challenge could just be a move intended to influence the outcome of a final province whose results haven't been released yet, or could indicate that the government "might be willing to precipitate a constitutional crisis."

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