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Number of complaints of serious fraud in Afghan election exceed 2009's total

Published on Apr 13, 2014 6:35 PM

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC) said on Sunday more incidents of serious fraud were reported in an April presidential election than in the previous one in 2009, when more than a million suspect votes were thrown out.

The complaints body hinted it might need more time than expected to investigate all of the complaints though the volume would not affect the overall schedule for electing a leader. Final results are due on May 14.

"There is a possibility, in order to review the high number of complaints accurately, that we may expand the time frame for reviewing complaints in provinces for some days," said IECC spokesman Nader Mohseni.

Afghanistan's allies praised the April 5 vote as a success because of the high turnout, estimated at 60 per cent of 12 million eligible votes, and the failure of Taleban militants to stage high-profile attacks on the day. But evidence of widespread fraud could undermine the legitimacy of an election meant to usher in Afghanistan's first democratic transfer of power, as incumbent Hamid Karzai prepares to step down after more than 12 years in power, and as Western forces prepare to leave.

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