Afghanistan election

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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 »

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 »

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 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 »

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 »

American UN Envoy Plotted to Oust Karzai

Scheme to force out Afghan president as fraud surfaced

(Newser) - The No. 2 United Nations official in Afghanistan sought to replace Hamid Karzai with a more Western-friendly figure as widespread election fraud surfaced earlier this year, officials say. The top UN official in Kabul, Kai Eide, says Peter Galbraith approached him with a plan to enlist Joe Biden to help... More »

Karzai Sworn In, Vows to Fight Corruption

Afghan prez promises to take over country's security in 5 years

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai vowed to fight corruption today after he was sworn in to a second 5-year term as president of Afghanistan. Karzai, whose election victory was tainted by widespread allegations of vote-rigging, said his government would learn from "our mistakes and shortcomings of the last eight years." The... More »

Karzai's Not So Bad— By Afghan Standards

Blame NATO missteps, not corruption

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai's no saint but he's much better than Mullah Omar, civil war, or the murderous Soviet stooges that ruled Afghanistan for many years, writes Bret Stephens. It has become fashionable among "neo-neo-cons" who have suddenly discovered the virtues of good governance to slam Karzai's tainted administration, but history... More »

Afghan Governor Rejects Karzai Election

Dispute could spark fresh fighting in northern province

(Newser) - A powerful warlord-turned-governor's rejection of Hamid Karzai's election victory is raising fears that one of Afghanistan's most stable provinces could collapse into fighting. Atta Mohammed Noor—the only one of Afghanistan's 34 governors to have openly supported Karzai's rival, Abdullah Abdullah—has denounced Karzai as an "unlawful president."... More »

Karzai Promises Change; Taliban Disses 'Puppet'

Insurgent 'brothers' reject the Afghan president's call for unity

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai made some sweeping but non-specific promises to banish corruption and reach out to opponents today in his first press conference since being re-elected by default. The Afghan president also reached out to "Taliban brothers," urging them to "embrace their land," but his overtures were... More »

Obama Calls for New Afghan Chapter

Karzai congratulated, told to clean up his government

(Newser) - President Obama congratulated Hamid Karzai on his "messy" election victory yesterday while warning him that it was time to clean up corruption in his government. "I emphasized that this has to be a point in time in which we begin to write a new chapter," said Obama,... More »

Karzai, US Stuck With Each Other

Afghan prez must act quickly to restore legitimacy

(Newser) - Hamid Karzai is suddenly the only game in town after Abdullah Abdullah’s withdrawal from a runoff election, and the Obama administration must figure out how to restore legitimacy to the Afghan president’s government and extend his influence outside of Kabul. It's critical that Karzai wins back the support... More »

Jarrett: Abdullah Quitting Isn't a Complication

Says election up to Afghan gov't; Obama decision may be delayed

(Newser) - Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett says Abdullah Abdullah's withdrawal from next weekend's runoff election in Afghanistan won't complicate the White House's decision-making process on a war strategy. But Jarrett tells George Stephanopoulos that the president's decision could slide back to late November. “The President will make a decision... More »

Abdullah Pulls Out of Runoff

Cites Karzai's refusal to reform election system

(Newser) - The only contender to unseat Afghan President Hamid Karzai today followed through on his threat to boycott the runoff election slated for Nov. 7. Citing Karzai's refusal to overhaul the election system as impetus for his decision, Abdullah Abdullah declared a “transparent election is not possible” at a news... More »

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