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Is this a surprise? Afghanistan elections are f*cked up. My Way News:

“Afghanistan’s historic presidential election turned sour Saturday when all 15 candidates opposing U.S.-backed interim President Hamid Karzai withdrew in the middle of voting, charging the government and the United Nations with fraud and incompetence.

In the end, faulty ink – not Taliban bombs and bullets – threatened three years of painstaking progress toward democracy. The opposition candidates claimed the ink used to mark people’s thumbs rubbed off too easily, allowing for mass deception.

Electoral officials rejected opposition demands that voting be stopped at midday, saying it would rob millions of people of their first chance to directly decide their leader, and the joint U.N.-Afghan panel overseeing the election would rule later on the vote’s legitimacy.

But the controversy nonetheless cast a pall over what had been a joyous day in Afghanistan. Millions of ethnically diverse Afghan voters crammed polling stations for an election aimed at bringing peace and prosperity to a country nearly ruined by more than two decades of war. Men and women voted at separate booths in keeping with this nation’s conservative Islamic leanings.

Karzai – who is widely favored to win – said the fate of the balloting was with electoral panel, but he added that, in his view, “the election was free and fair … it is very legitimate.”

…Even if the vote is ultimately validated, Karzai’s ability to unite this nation, fight rampant warlordism and crush a lingering Taliban insurgency in this nation of an estimated 25 million people might be fatally compromised if his opponents refuse to accept the results and insist that his rule is illegitimate.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding