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Karzai criticizes voter fraud measure

Oct. 19, 2012 at 8:55 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the inclusion of foreign experts on an elections fraud committee "is a violation of Afghanistan's national sovereignty."

Nearly two years before Afghanistan's presidential election in 2014, Karzai criticized Parliament's lower house mandate that two foreign experts chosen by the United Nations be included in the country's five-person Election Complaints Commission, The New York Times reported Friday.

"Their interference in the election process is a violation of Afghanistan's national sovereignty," he said Thursday. "Afghanistan is not interfering in [the U.S.] election, and we are hoping they don't interfere in our election."

In 2009, the commission had three foreign members, who forced a runoff between Karzai and opponent Abdullah Abdullah after disqualifying tens of thousands of votes, the Times reported. Karzai has since reduced the number of foreign experts on the commission to two, giving Afghan nationals a majority presence.

Members of parliament, though, insist the foreign experts are necessary to ensure against voter fraud.

"We have had bad experiences with the elections and president's interference in the elections, and that's why we wanted to have two United Nations representatives to watch the election process and the complaints," said Humarai Ayoudi, a lawmaker from western Afghanistan.

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