An Afghan election watchdog ordered ballots from more than 200 polling stations to be invalidated Monday after an inquiry concluded there had been large-scale fraud in August’s presidential poll.
The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) said it had found “clear and convincing evidence” of fraud in the August 20 poll.
It said it had ordered the UN-backed Independent Election Commission (IEC) — the final arbiter of the election results — “to invalidate a certain percentage of each candidates' votes” and results from 210 polling stations.
The ECC findings, which it said were "final and binding," could see the IEC forced to call a run-off between incumbent President Hamid Karzai and his main rival Abdullah Abdullah.
Karzai, against whom most of the ballot-stuffing allegations were made, leads preliminary results with about 55 per cent of the vote, with Abdullah on about 28 per cent.
But the revised count is expected to cut Karzai’s lead to below the mark of 50 per cent plus one vote required for victory.