The head of the UN mission in Afghanistan is denying that he helped cover up vote-rigging in the disputed Afghan election, refuting charges made by a top US diplomat. In a rare press conference, Kai Eide also said a partial recount being conducted by a UN-backed election panel would root out the fraud that marred the August vote.
Eide’s former deputy, seasoned diplomat Peter Galbraith, was fired last month after accusing Eide of covering up fraud by supporters of President Hamid Karzai. Eide said he declined to report allegations of fraud that lacked sufficient evidence, reports the Los Angeles Times. Galbraith also accused Eide of keeping open “ghost” polling stations—facilities in areas too dangerous to send international observers. Following Galbraith’s advice to close the stations would have disenfranchised many Afghans, Eide said in his defense.