As members of an international election observation delegation to last month’s presidential election and provincial elections, we were impressed that the courage of millions Afghan voters who showed up at the polls despite widespread violence and intimidation. Holding an election in a time of war is never an easy thing, and many Afghans faced the tough choice of going to cast their ballots in a combat zone.
Although the Independent Election Commission, or IEC, announced this week that President Hamid Karzai passed the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff with more than 90 percent of the vote counted, the electoral process is far from complete. The country’s IEC needs to finish tabulating the results, and the Electoral Complaints Commission, a separate body consisting of both Afghan and international commissioners, will need to credibly adjudicate mounting charges of electoral fraud, which now number in the thousands. For the next Afghan president to gain the legitimacy to govern, these bodies must complete their tasks transparently and efficiently.
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