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Indybay Feature
Sat Oct 9 2004
Karzai Becomes President Despite Election Irregularities
Afghan election ends in controversy
On December 7th 2004, Hamid Karzai was sworn into office as President of Afghanistan despite clear evidence of stuffed ballot boxes and irregularities at many polling places. While Afghanistan has dropped out of the news and is virtually ignored by the Western press, things are not very different from how they were a few years ago when it was the top story in every US newspaper. Bin Laden is still reported to be hiding in the North, Mulla Omar and Hekmatyar continues to make threats, the Taliban continues to engage in attacks on both Afghan and US forces, warlords continue to control most of the country (with Karzai ruling mainly over Kabul) and opium sales continue to rise keeping Afghanistan the word's largest producer of heroin.
Afghan Recovery Report: Daughters Sold to Settle Debts | Detritus of War Keeps Claiming New Victims

On Saturday October 9th, Afghanistan held its first "election" under US occupation. The election ended in controversy after most presidential candidates called for a boycott half-way through voting due to fears of fraud resulting from problems in the method used to prevent people from voting more than once. Without basic infrastructure, the election faced credibility problems from the start and the competition between warlords is likely to make ethnic tensions worse. The Bush administration's role in the October timing of the Afghan election seems primarily designed for the benefit of Bush's own re-election, but the booming opium trade and recent surge in violence make it hard to use Afghanistan as an example of success.
Women and Elections in Afghanistan | Common Dreams | Democracy Now | Credibility at stake after Karzai’s rivals boycott polls
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