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Fraud Probe Delays Certification Of Afghan Election Results

Voters in Kandahar (file photo) (AFP) Kabul, 9 November 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Certification of Afghanistan's 18 September parliamentary election results has been delayed once again -- this time by an ongoing investigation into complaints of widespread cheating in Kandahar Province.

Kandahar's results are now expected to be certified in a few days.

Finalized results in the race for the lower chamber of the National Assembly, the People's Council, initially were expected last month. Peter Erben, the chief electoral officer of the Afghan-UN Joint Electoral Management Body, says that process is now complete in all of Afghanistan's other 33 provinces.

Amid the fraud allegations, 50 election staff workers have been fired and 3 percent of the ballot boxes have been removed from the counting process. Election officials are rejecting calls from some candidates for a recount.

Meanwhile, authorities say the provincial councils that help appoint the upper chamber of parliament, the Council of Elders, are ready to start meeting tomorrow. Selections for the upper chamber's membership are expected on 12 November.

(RFE/RL's Afghan Service, AP)

Afghanistan Votes

Afghanistan Votes

RFE/RL's complete coverage of the historic September 18, 2005, legislative elections in Afghanistan.