Washington’s double standard: The elections in Iran and Afghanistan

Patrick Martin

In Iran, the declaration of victory by Ahmadinejad was treated as evidence of a major vote-rigging effort. A similar declaration in Afghanistan is dismissed as insignificant.

Despite the increasing evidence of systematic and massive vote fraud, the Obama administration and the American media are still seeking to sustain the pretense that Afghanistan’s August 20 presidential election was a basically democratic affair.

The Electoral Complaints Commission, a United Nations-backed oversight group, said that it had received more than 800 charges of irregularities, with 50 of them so serious that they could potentially alter the result of the vote.

A half dozen candidates who opposed incumbent president Hamid Karzai, including his leading challenger, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, have charged the government with falsifying the vote. Abdullah’s campaign released video footage Tuesday showing Karzai campaign supporters and election officials marking blank ballots for Karzai and threatening voters at the polls. Another candidate, Mirwais Yasini, produced bags full of ballots he said were cast for him in Kandahar but dumped by election officials and recovered by his campaign.

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