Afghan claim

AFGHAN president Hamid Karzai yesterday insisted the country’s disputed election was “true and fair” and refused to accept a second round of voting simply to satisfy critics claiming massive fraud.

Karzai said any run-off must follow the legal re-counting process, likely to take weeks. Election commissioners said they would not order any run-off ballots until after the recount.

“We cannot claim a wrong and then commit another wrong in order to make a right,” Karzai said.

He acknowledged irregularities and difficulties in the poll, but said that overall the vote was honest. “I can assure you, the vote was true and fair,” he said.

Karzai has 54.6% of the vote in preliminary results, well ahead of his main challenger Abdullah Abdullah’s 27.7%.


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