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Monday, 27 July 2009

Karzai can only win with fraud

Many Afghan presidential candidates do not regard the Taliban as the greatest threat to their precarious democracy or to presidential elections slated for August 20.

Despite elaborate electoral machinery and strong foreign oversight, the candidates and many of their countrymen have become convinced that next month's election will be heavily rigged in favour of President Hamid Karzai.

"I do not think that I can be convinced that this election is open, free and fair," said Mohammad Sarwar Ahmadazi, a U.S.-educated lawyer who is one of 40 candidates challenging the incumbent.

"I was at the state department in Washington two weeks ago and nobody there could give me assurances that they are able to check whether the vote will be fair. Tribal chiefs are going to tick the boxes where they want. Money will pay a big role." More