As many may be aware, the ongoing election in Afghanistan has been anything but peaceful. The elections have been fraught with violence, voter turmoil, and politically instigated unrest. The results, are still unclear, however, they favor the current incumbent president, Hamid Karzai.
This turn of events is interesting because, there were repeated Taliban attacks in voter areas where Karzai is favored. These Taliban attacks kept scared voters from going to the polls. That gave Karzai’s chief opponent, his former foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah, the projected advantage. The elections took place, on August 20th, 2009. The Afghan Election Commission reports however, that the final results will not be released until late September.
Abdullah Abdullah accuses Karzai of rigging the vote in his favor. This action is commonplace in Afghan elections simply because the vote tallying system is disorganized and more than likely full of fraud. Out of the seven elections ever to take place in Afghanistan, five has gone under investigation for fraud. The votes are counted individually by the polling stations, and then the votes are reported, by those stations, to the Independent Election commission or (IEC). There are safeguards in place to avoid voter fraud, such as double blind tallies and computerized reporting. The fact still remains, is it possible for the current president to rig a vote? Could it be, that the most influential man in a war torn middle eastern country, could use his influence to set himself up to win? The truth is, weirder things have happened.
It all comes down to your faith in the Afghan voting process. Do you believe that the system is accurate, that separate tallying centers are sending in the truth, or are they sending in modified versions of the truth favoring their candidate?
I believe, that the Afghans are doing every thing they can to make the vote fair. Is there fraud? Yes, I believe there is. Is there fraud on a massive scale, like certain media companies would like us to believe? I don’t think so. There is no evidence to support a full scale rigging of the vote in Karzai’s favor. I do however believe, that it is possible.
As far as how the vote goes, only time will tell. As the vote stands now, Hamid Karzai is still leading and the accusation still stands. Only twenty five percent of the vote has been tallied. But the early results show Karzai with a lead of 1.2 million votes. Even with this lead, we are still a long way from determining the true outcome.