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EU Says Afghan Election Fair, Not Free

From a mildly concerned Reuters:

An Afghan election worker unloads ballot boxes from a truck at a counting center in Kandahar province, August 21, 2009.

Afghan election fair, but not free: EU

By Adam Entous and Hamid Shalizi

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s presidential election was generally fair but not entirely free because of Taliban intimidation and violence that kept turnout low in the south, European monitors said on Saturday.

With the outcome still unpublished and both sides claiming victory, Washington’s envoy to the region Richard Holbrooke said President Hamid Karzai and his main rival Abdullah Abdullah had promised to respect the result and avoid any violence. ..

At least nine Afghan civilians and 14 members of the security forces were killed on election day, when rockets rained down on towns, mainly in the south.

The biggest domestic election observer group, the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), has said its observers saw some instances of fraud and irregularities.

Describing one notable instance of intimidation, FEFA head Jandad Spinghar said fighters had cut off two people’s fingers in the rural Arghandab district of Kandahar province because the fingers were stained with ink that proved the people had voted. District officials could not be reached to confirm the report.

Abdullah has also complained of fraud. Election authorities say they investigate all formal complaints and have elaborate measures in place to determine if ballots are genuine and exclude fake ones, one of the reasons the result is taking so long.

The election is a major test for Karzai after eight years in office, as well as for U.S. President Barack Obama’s new regional strategy of pouring in thousands of extra troops to defeat the Taliban and its Islamist allies and stabilize Afghanistan.

Karzai is a Pashtun from the south, while Abdullah — half Pashtun and half Tajik — draws much of his support from the Tajik minority in the north…

The EU and FEFA need to come to Philadelphia.

Speaking of which, from the Associated Press:

Taliban Cut Off Fingers of 2 Afghan Voters

Saturday , August 22, 2009

KABUL — Taliban militants cut off the ink-stained fingers of two Afghan voters in the militant south during the presidential election, the country’s top election monitoring group said Saturday.

Two voters who had dipped their index fingers in purple ink — a fraud prevention measure — were attacked in Kandahar province shortly after voting Thursday, said Nader Nadery, the head of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan. Kandahar is the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban.

Rumors that militants would cut off voters’ ink-stained fingers spread before the vote. A Taliban spokesman had said militants would not carry out such attacks, but the Taliban is a loose organization of individual commanders who could carry out the threat on their own…

The Taliban could have taught the Democrat’s KKK a thing or two about intimidating voters.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “EU Says Afghan Election Fair, Not Free”

  1. canary

    AP: Taliban cut off fingers of 2 Afghan voters Aug 22 2009

    KABUL – An Afghan vote monitoring group says Taliban militants in Afghanistan’s south cut off the fingers of two Afghan voters, carrying out a gruesome pre-election threat.

    Nader Nadery of the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan says Saturday two voters in southern Kandahar province — the Taliban’s spiritual birthplace — lost their fingers.

    Nadery says the two fingers sliced off had been dipped in purple indelible ink, an anti-fraud measure, but one that identified voters to militants in dangerous, insurgent-held areas.

    Rumors that militants would cut fingers off spread before Thursday’s presidential vote. However, a Taliban spokesman said militants would not carry out such attacks.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200.....JhbmN1dG9m

  2. MinnesotaRush

    “The election is a major test for Karzai after eight years in office, as well as for U.S. President Barack Obama’s new regional strategy of pouring in thousands of extra troops to defeat the Taliban and its Islamist allies and stabilize Afghanistan.”

    Would that “new regional strategy” be the one he borrowed from President Bush??? Hmmmm???

    This o-blah-blah nitwit couldn’t come up with a rational plan of action for anything on his own. The only strategy’s he’s implemented that are working with any degree of success are those with roots to GW.

    “New regional strategy”, my b_tt!

  3. canary

    Once again they left out at least 6 U.S. troops that were killed.
    Reports are coming from families.

    (scroll down the left side for more)
    http://icasualties.org/oef/

    08/19/09 CP: 6 US troops die in Afghanistan, militants kill poll workers
    The U.S. military said Wednesday six American troops were killed in Afghanistan, as militants killed six election workers amid growing fears on the eve of the presidential election that insurgents would mar the vote.

    some families reporting deathes

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.c.....cation=rss

    New Hampshire
    http://www.wbz.com/pages/50600.....Id=4560041

    Obama too busy giving 5 minute mulsim holiday speech instead of honoring troops that died so Afganistan can elect some terrorist muslim. It’s just another sign that his heart are with the enemy


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