October 20th, 2010
11:16 AM ET

More than 20 percent of vote thrown out in Afghan election

Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission released preliminary results of the September 18 parliamentary elections stating that 1.3 million votes of the total of 5.6 million ballots have been cancelled out because of fraud.

That means about 23 percent of the total votes were tossed out, the election commission said Wednesday.

On Monday, the election commission announced that 10 percent of the votes in the election would be thrown out because of suspected fraud.

Since then election, officials found more fraudulent votes.

This announcement comes after allegations of ballot-box stuffing and bribery have tainted the vote.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai pledged to cut corruption and increase transparency after he was re-elected in a August 2009 election that was later deemed fraudulent by the United Nations and other vote-monitoring organizations.

The September 18 parliamentary vote was viewed widely as a key test for Afghanistan's fledgling democracy and the latest allegations of fraud could present Karzai with further problems.

Zekria Barikzai, deputy chief of election commission, cautioned that the number of votes thrown out was similar to the votes thrown out in the presidential election.

Barikzai said about 1.3 million votes were thrown out in the 2009 re-election of Karzai.

"In parliamentary election some of the powerful local people tried to influence the process," Barikzai said.

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Filed under: Afghanistan elections
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