Afghanistan election

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At Last, Afghanistan Has a New President

Ashraf Ghani will step up after power-sharing deal reached

(Newser) - Afghanistan's election commission has named Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner of the country's presidential election, but the commission did not release final vote figures. The commission's announcement today came hours after Ghani Ahmadzai signed a power sharing agreement with opponent Abdullah Abdullah, who will fill the... More »

Karzai Cousin Killed: Bomber Shook His Hand, Detonated

Ashmat Khlil Karzai was also politician in his own right

(Newser) - Three years after Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother was assassinated—and a weeping Karzai climbed into his grave —a suicide bomber has killed Karzai's cousin, an official says. According to a rep for Kandahar province's governor, the attacker shook hands with Ashmat Khlil Karzai near the... More »

Apparent Loser of Afghan Election Claims Victory

Crisis could break country apart

(Newser) - Preliminary vote tallies show Abdullah Abdullah losing Afghanistan's presidential election to Ashraf Ghani by a pretty wide margin of 56.4% to 43.5%. But Abdullah declared victory anyway yesterday, and said he would decide in the next few days whether to form a "parallel government" competing with... More »

Afghan Election Chief Resigns

Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail says he wasn't involved in alleged fraud

(Newser) - Afghanistan's chief electoral officer resigned today in a bid to resolve a political crisis over allegations of massive fraud in the runoff presidential vote earlier this month. Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail told reporters that he denies any involvement in fraud but he is stepping down "for the national interest.... More »

Taliban Cuts Fingers Off Voters

Attacks kill dozens as voters defy threats

(Newser) - Voting in this weekend's presidential run-off poll in Afghanistan was "relatively peaceful," the BBC reports—but in Afghanistan, "relatively peaceful" can include Taliban attacks that killed more than 50 voters and mutilated nearly a dozen more. To prevent fraud, Afghans are required to dip a finger... More »

Looks Like a Runoff in Afghan Presidential Election

Abdullah Abdullah in the lead, according to preliminary results

(Newser) - Full preliminary results released today in Afghanistan's presidential election show former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah won the most votes but not the majority needed to avoid a runoff. Abdullah garnered 44.9% of the vote, putting him ahead of ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who came in second with... More »

Afghans Defy Taliban in Huge Voter Turnout

Milestone election is largely peaceful despite threats

(Newser) - Afghans flocked to polling stations nationwide today, defying a threat of violence by the Taliban to cast ballots in what promises to be the nation's first democratic transfer of power. The turnout was so high that some polling centers ran out of ballots and others took the unprecedented step... More »

Karzai Refuses to Seat New Parliament

Lawmakers plan to convene anyway this weekend

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai has delayed the inauguration of Afghanistan’s newly elected parliament, at the behest of a court he appointed himself to hear complaints from losing candidates largely loyal to him. Those candidates complain that fraud and security concerns excluded many people from the vote. But Karzai’s international allies... More »

Karzai Government Slams 'Premature' Election Results

Could just be a move to influence results from a final, lingering province

(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... More »

Chaos Surrounds Afghan's 'Final' Election Results

For starters, votes in one province can't be counted

(Newser) - The main electoral body in Afghanistan released today what it says are the final results of September's parliamentary election, but results for an entire province were withheld because rampant violence, intimidation, and voter fraud made a fair tally impossible. As the results were announced, angry supporters of disqualified candidates staged... More »

Afghan Officials Find 'Missing' Votes

As hundreds march to protest election results

(Newser) - Well this doesn’t look suspicious at all. Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission discovered tens of thousands of uncounted ballots yesterday, even as 200 people marched through Kabul protesting the results of the September contest. “We checked our warehouses and found those,” a commission official tells the Washington ... More »

Afghan Elections: A Corrupt 'Free-for-All'

Widespread fraud reported in nearly a third of provinces

(Newser) - From stuffing ballot boxes to arresting election workers to, incredibly, haggling over the sales price of a vote, Afghanistan's election is so rife with corruption and fraud that the results are questionable in one-third of its provinces, reports the New York Times. And as a test of Afghanistan's nascent democracy,... More »

Thousands of Complaints Expected in Afghan Election

Karzai says it's 'too soon to tell' if it was successful

(Newser) - Looks like this weekend’s election in Afghanistan went about as poorly as the last one. Afghanistan’s official election watchdog says it’s already received more than 700 complaints, and expects the figure to reach 3,000 over the next two days, according to Reuters . An independent watchdog meanwhile... More »

Taliban Attacks Keep Turnout Low in Afghan Vote

Too early to gauge the legitimacy of parliamentary election

(Newser) - Despite Taliban rocket strikes and bombings, Afghans voted for a new parliament today, the first election since a fraud-marred presidential ballot last year cast doubt on the legitimacy of the government. Still, the defense minister described turnout as "low." As officials tally votes over the next few days,... More »

Taliban Abducts Candidates Ahead of Election

Intimidation campaign precedes tomorrow's vote

(Newser) - Taliban fighters have reportedly abducted more than 20 people in an intimidation campaign designed to derail tomorrow’s parliamentary elections, including at least two candidates. The Taliban also warned yesterday that anyone showing up to vote tomorrow “would get hurt.” NATO troops, meanwhile, have vowed to protect the... More »

Just in Time for Afghan Election: Fake Voter Cards

Voter fraud feared as elections near

(Newser) - Printers in a Pakistan city near the Afghan border say they have produced thousands of fake voter registration cards at the request of Afghan politicians for use in that country's parliamentary elections on Saturday. The cards, some shown to the AP, add to evidence that fraud could undermine the elections... More »

Roadside Bomb Brings US Afghan Toll to 21 in 5 Days

Petraeus: US withdrawal will be 'thinning out,' not abrupt departure

(Newser) - Four US troops were killed by a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan today, bringing the American death toll to 21 since Friday. The US death toll for August now stands at 53, almost all of whom were killed in southern and eastern Afghanistan, where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, the... More »

Karzai Calls Clinton, Backs Off

Afghan president 'clarifies' his knock on international community

(Newser) - A day after accusing the US of "vast fraud" that nearly denied him a second term, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to back off. The 25-minute phone call came as the Obama administration labeled his comments "genuinely troubling" and dispatched its ambassador to... More »

Karzai Blasts 'Foreigners'

Harsh remarks illustrate strained ties with US

(Newser) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the UN and international community today, accusing them of interfering in last year's presidential election and seeking to weaken his authority. His tirade came just days after he got a lecture from President Obama. He didn't specifically mention the US, but his harsh... More »

Afghanistan Postpones May Elections

Panel pushes vote to Sept., cites need for reform, lack of funds

(Newser) - Afghanistan's independent election commission has confirmed it is postponing parliamentary elections until the fall due to a lack of funding, security concerns, and logistical challenges. Commissioner Fazel Ahmed Manawi also told reporters today the delay will allow time for electoral reforms—a move likely to please Western countries pressing for... More »

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