The U.N. Commission overseeing the Afghan election has ordered a partial recount, AP reports, beginning with polling places “showing 100 percent turnout or with a presidential candidate receiving more than 95 percent of the vote.” With widespread and credible allegations of massive fraud, President Hamid Karzai’s lead is approaching the 50 percent plus one needed to avoid a run-off election. The Afghan election commission has thrown out about 200,000 ballots from 447 stations because of fraud. An additional 224,000 ballots were disqualified for other reasons, bringing the total number of ballots eliminated to almost ten percent of the 4.3 million ballots cast.
In a statement as insulting as it was inaccurate, U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke compared the Afghan election fraud to Minnesota’s senatorial recount:
We recently had a senatorial election in Minnesota which took seven months to determine the outcome, there were so many charges of irregularities. It certainly won’t take that long in Afghanistan, but that happens in democracies, even when they are not in the middle of a war.