A UN-backed electoral commission has ordered a partial ballot recount of the Aug. 20 election in Afghanistan, CNN reports, amid what it called "clear and convincing evidence of fraud in a number of polling stations." The decision comes less than 24 hours after the US ambassador met with Hamid Karzai, whose campaign has been accused of rampant fraud, asking him to allow an investigation. The commission has received more than 2,000 complaints since the election, of which 700 are designated "Priority A."
The recount will target polling stations with unusually high voter turnout of 600 or more, as well as stations where one candidate received 95% of the vote or more. In recent days Western diplomats have voiced increasing concerns with the fairness of the ballot, including allegations of fake polling places and ballot stuffing. At the moment Karzai leads the official tally with 48.6% of the vote, just shy of the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff.