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Karzai Says Too Early To Judge Election, Cancels UN Trip

Afghan President Hamid Karzai gestures before casting his vote at a polling station in Kabul.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has canceled a trip to the UN General Assembly in New York in order to monitor the outcome of parliamentary polls at home.

Presidential spokesman Waheed Omar said Karzai decided to stay at home "as the Afghan people go through an important political process."

Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul will attend the UN meeting on Karzai's behalf.

The election on September 18 has been marred by allegations of fraud and intimidation as vote-counting continues.

On September 19, the top UN envoy in Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, said it was too early to describe the vote as a success as some Afghan officials did as soon as voting ended.

Afghanistan's UN-backed election watchdog, the Election Complaints Commission (ECC), today said it had already received more than 700 complaints.

Nader Naderi, the head of the Independent Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan, said reports of ballot-stuffing, repeat voting, vote-buying, and other irregularities were coming in from across the country.

compiled from agency reports