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Afghan President Blames Foreigners For Election Fraud


Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks at the Independent Electoral Commission compound in Kabul on April 1.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks at the Independent Electoral Commission compound in Kabul on April 1.

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has laid blame on foreigners for widespread fraud during last year's presidential election.

Karzai told election workers today that there was "vast fraud" during the August 20 ballot but said it was not committed by Afghans.

Instead, he accused United Nations and European Union officials of interfering in the process to force the election into a runoff, which was scrapped when opponent Abdullah Abdullah dropped out after complaining of irregularities.

Karzai singled out former UN deputy chief Peter Galbraith, who was fired in a dispute with his boss, top UN envoy Kai Eide, about how to deal with fraud allegations, and the head of the EU observation mission, retired French General Philippe Morillon.

The UN-backed electoral commission threw out nearly one-third of the ballots containing votes for Karzai.

compiled from agency reports
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