Afghan Election Marred by Fraud, American Democracy in Action
“The complaints to provincial election commissions have so far included video clips showing ballot stuffing; the strong-arming of election officials by candidates’ agents; and even the handcuffing and detention of election workers. NYT”
No, no, this is not from an old news story about the vote counting in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004, it’s from a story in yesterday’s New York Times about the stunning progress we are making in our creation of a western style democracy in Afghanistan.
“But in the important southern province of Kandahar, where election officials threw out 76 percent of the ballots in last year’s badly tainted presidential election, candidates accused the president’s influential half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, of drawing up a list of winners even before the Sept. 18 election for Parliament was carried out. NYT“
Looks good so far, I think we’ve taught them nearly everything we know and everything they need to know. USAID is said to be launching a crash program to train the Afghan Parliament to more effectively use lobbyists in their everyday affairs and how to properly proofread and approve legislation drawn up by heroin farmers and other Afghan and American business interests.
International mining interests are said to be standing ready to begin removal of the mountain tops in the pesky Hindu Kush area and the State Department says that a team from Massey Energy is now being assembled to assist in that effort.
When that project is complete and American oil companies are reaping the profits from the oil and gas pipelines they are now working on, we will no longer have a presence in the mountainous country, except of course for the 150000 “private contractors” and 70000 troops left behind to train Afghans in record keeping and shredding, as well as quieting the occasional but annoying food riots.
In sum, the Afghans, in the brief span of a decade have managed to successfully emulate some of the most enduring aspects of our democratic system of elections and government.
In some places, election officials themselves are alleged to have carried out the fraud; in others, government employees did, witnesses said. One video showed election officials and a candidate’s representatives haggling over the price of votes. NYT
I have no way of verifying this but I have heard some reports out of Kandahar Province, which recently purchased several hundred second hand Diebold voting machines from Florida in the US, that George W Bush was elected Province chief, to a seat in the Afghan Parliament, and this year’s Queen of May.