Afghan Election Complaint Body Orders Recount

Sept. 16, 2009, midnight

Backed by the United Nations, Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission has ordered recounts in 10 percent of polling places following claims of widespread fraud during the August 20 Presidential election. While incumbent President Hamid KARZAI leads with more than 54 points, many Western observers believe the invalidation of all fraudulent votes would force him into a runoff against leading challenger Abdullah ABDULLAH. The recount will cover at least 15 percent of all ballots cast in the election. According to European Union election observers, about one third of the ballots supporting KARZAI are suspect. The recount order applies to any polling place where there were more than 600 votes or in which more than 100 votes were cast, 95 percent of which went to one candidate.

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