[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Fake cards imperil Afghan elections
Fraudulent "registration cards" in wide circulation threaten to discredit Afghanistan's upcoming parliamentary polls.
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2010 05:36 GMT
Thousands of fake voter registration cards are in circulation in Afghanistan, threatening the credibility of forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Al Jazeera's Sue Turton, in an exclusive report from Jalalabad, says sources have told her the fake cards, being sold in the country for just over 300 Pakistani rupees (USD3) apiece, were printed in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

One of the agents selling the professionally made cards said his network had sold 1.5 million cards over the past three months.

It is believed that there are many such networks selling the fraudulent cards.

About five million people are expected to vote in Saturday's elections. If election observers fail to detect these fake cards, the millions of fraudulent ballots in circulation could have a significant, maybe even decisive impact, on the whole election.

In Jalalabad, a city east of Kabul, Farooq Millanay, the local member of parliament, is so concerned about the effect of these cards on his own ballot that he is calling for the polls to be postponed.

Jalalabad appears to be at the centre of the fake-cards market.

Last year's elections in Afghanistan were marred by claims of fraud and corruption. Complaints of vote rigging and irregularities plagued the process, which yielded a questionable verdict for the incumbent president, Hamid Karzai.

In the course of its investigation, Afghanistan's Electoral Complaint Commission, backed by the United Nations, found "clear and convincing evidence of fraud" in certain provinces.

Karzai's campaign spokesman dismissed the allegations of fraud as "rumours".

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
join our mailing list