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Afghan Election Suffers from Fake Voting Cards

Afghanistan vote

Afghan shows his voting card today in Kabul (photo: USAID Afghanistan via flickr)

The topline US reports on the Afghan parliamentary elections will strike a narrative flourish about ordinary citizens braving bomb threats and rocket attacks to reach the polls and perform their civic duty. You can bet that will be mirrored in the President’s statement on the elections later today. Remember the purple fingers?

So let’s go to the international press and see how this election is going. The BBC:

A BBC investigation has found evidence of fraud and corruption in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, which take place on Saturday.

There is evidence that candidates have tried to buy voters’ polling cards, and that bribes are being offered to election officials.

Last year’s Presidential vote was marred by widespread fraud.

The video is not embeddable, but two men claim that multiple candidates for Parliament have tried to purchase their voting cards. And then the reporter pulls out a giant stack of fake voting cards, ready for laminating, which look exactly like the ones handed out to all voters in Afghanistan. He proceeds to contend that election organizers “have been asking for bribes to swing the results.”

Meanwhile, Ahmed Wali Karzai, the drug-dealing brother of the President, should pick up practically all the seats in Kandahar, according to The Guardian. Some of these candidates Karzai is supporting are also involved in the drug trade.

Three people have died at the polls so far, which is thankfully less than during last year’s Presidential elections. But the real question is, for what? A rigged vote that concentrates power in the hands of corrupt elites?

CommunityThe Bullpen

Afghan Election Suffers from Fake Voting Cards

The topline US reports on the Afghan parliamentary elections will strike a narrative flourish about ordinary citizens braving bomb threats and rocket attacks to reach the polls and perform their civic duty. You can bet that will be mirrored in the President’s statement on the elections later today. Remember the purple fingers?

So let’s go to the international press and see how this election is going. The BBC:

A BBC investigation has found evidence of fraud and corruption in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, which take place on Saturday.

There is evidence that candidates have tried to buy voters’ polling cards, and that bribes are being offered to election officials.

Last year’s Presidential vote was marred by widespread fraud.

The video is not embeddable, but two men claim that multiple candidates for Parliament have tried to purchase their voting cards. And then the reporter pulls out a giant stack of fake voting cards, ready for laminating, which look exactly like the ones handed out to all voters in Afghanistan. He proceeds to contend that election organizers “have been asking for bribes to swing the results.”

Meanwhile, Ahmed Wali Karzai, the drug-dealing brother of the President, should pick up practically all the seats in Kandahar, according to The Guardian. Some of these candidates Karzai is supporting are also involved in the drug trade.

Three people have died at the polls so far, which is thankfully less than during last year’s Presidential elections. But the real question is, for what? A rigged vote that concentrates power in the hands of corrupt elites?

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David Dayen

David Dayen