A member of a UN-backed panel set up to investigate fraud complaints in Afghanistan’s election resigned on Monday, blaming what he called “the interference of foreigners” in a vote already mired in controversy.
The fraud panel is expected to decide this week whether to throw out enough votes to force a runoff between President Hamid Karzai and his top challenger, Abdullah Abdullah.
Maulavi Mustafa Barakzia was one of the only two Afghans on the Electoral Complaints Commission. He alleged the three foreigners on the panel — one American, one Canadian and one Dutch — were “making all decisions on their own” without consultation.
A day earlier, the top UN mission chief, Kai Eide, acknowledged “widespread fraud” in the August 20 presidential elections. Eide was criticised by his deputy, Peter Galbraith, who had alleged that the UN mission chief played down allegations of widespread ballot-stuffing by Karzai’s supporters.