Karzai’s takeover of election fraud watchdog raises concerns

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai has given himself control over the election fraud watchdog whose rulings during last year’s presidential election affected his results more than any other candidate.

In a decree issued last week, Karzai gave himself the powers to appoint all five members of the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), the independent election watchdog that ruled more than a million ballots in 2009, most of them for Karzai, were fraudulent.

Jean MacKenzie, an independent Kabul-based journalist with the online news agency GlobalPost, says that it was the ECC “that actually pushed for the investigation into fraud and pushed for a runoff, which ultimately did not happen.”

Full story: Karzai’s Takeover Of Afghan Election Watchdog Raises Concerns – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2010