President Hamid Karazai nekter å godta Klagekommisjonens resultat om at antall forfalskede stemmer var så høyt at ingen av kandidatene fikk over 50 % i første valgomgang. Han hevder at påstandene om valgfusk er falske.

Afghanistan befinner seg i politisk krise. Hvis Karzai erklærer seg selv for vinner truer rivalen Abdullah Abdullah med gateuro.

Electoral Complaints Commission, som er sammensatt av afghanske og internasjonale representanter, har kommet til at det var systematisk valgfusk. Den kan gi den afghanske valgkomiteen beskjed om at det må arrangeres en annen valgomgang. Men valgkomiteen er styrt av Karzai og nekter å ta imot resultatet.

Det er en uholdbar situasjon. Utenriksministrene ringer Karzai ned for å få han til å ombestemme seg.

HAMID KARZAI, the Afghan president, has threatened to ignore the findings of an investigation into widespread fraud that made it appear he had won an election victory over his rival in August.

The country’s Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) had been due to announce yesterday that Karzai’s share of the ballots was being cut from 54.6% to about 47% as a result of the inquiry, triggering a second round of voting. But the announcement was delayed amid diplomatic efforts to convince Karzai to abide by the decision.

Karzai insists that he should be declared the outright winner and has dismissed reports of widespread fraud as «totally fabricated» and «politically motivated».

In a bleak assessment to foreign ambassadors in Kabul last night the head of the United Nations in Afghanistan, Kai Eide, warned that the situation was «very tense».
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«He was encouraging the ambassadors to get their foreign ministers to call up Karzai and underline the importance of sticking to the constitution and accepting the ECC’s decision,» said an insider at the meeting.

The American senator John Kerry met the president for the second time in two days to emphasise «the need for a legitimate outcome», an embassy official said. French diplomats said a surprise visit by their foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, was also intended to defuse «tension created by the repeated delays in announcing the election results».

Gordon Brown, the prime minister, has telephoned Karzai twice in seven days, while Hillary Clinton, the American secretary of state, spoke to him late on Friday night.

The final results have been delayed for more than eight weeks while investigators wade through more than 3,000 allegations of fraud, including almost 900 deemed serious enough to alter the result.

Karzai’s aides claim the West is trying to change the outcome to be unfavourable to him. Diplomats fear that if he rejects the ECC’s findings, opposition supporters will riot and the country could be paralysed.

Armed riots threatened as Karzai scorns election inquiry