Afghan election is a 'laughing stock': Taliban

WASHINGTON- The Taliban issued a statement on Tuesday dismissing the election process in Afghanistan as a "laughing stock," a US monitoring group said.
"The recent elections of August 20 for the presidency of the republic for the next five years were a laughing-stock, a disgrace and fraught with embarrassment for the Kabul administration in general," the statement said, according to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Afghan election is a 'laughing stock': Taliban
"Only a few people out of about 30 million participated, by means of bribes, fraud, theft and force as well. As for the majority as a whole, they declared openly their boycott of it and their rejection of it," the Taliban said.
The statement was dated October 20 but made no explicit mention of Afghan's President Hamid Karzai's decision earlier Tuesday to compete in a second round run-off against former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah on November 7.
"We believe that today is more humiliating to the false democracy and its promoters ... since two months have passed without declaration of those results," the statement said.
"America and its allies cannot give up their interests and goals a single step in Afghanistan. If they could, they would not have stood as an obstacle to declaring the results of the farce of the elections of August 20," it said.
SITE said the Taliban statement had been posted on its website and jihadist forums on Tuesday.
Karzai's decision to agree to a run-off came the day after a UN-backed watchdog highlighted staggering levels of fraud in the August 20 first round poll, saying more than one million votes -- a quarter of the total cast -- were regarded as suspect.
An Afghan election official confirmed Tuesday that from a preliminary tally of 55 percent, Karzai's share of the first-round vote had fallen to 49.67 percent, below the threshold needed for outright victory.

Wednesday, October 21st 2009

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