The reporting of the results in September’s parliamentary election in Afghanistan has been getting more grim by the day. Not only is there (as expected) a fair amount of corruption in the voting, and even the reporting of the votes. But now, there are allegations of corruption “in the process through which votes were announced invalid”. The attorney general’s office has been called in to investigate.
These are only allegations, and it could be simple gamesmanship by some of the losing candidates. But this is the nightmare scenario — that simply no one accepts the official results, with candidates making claims and counter-claims of victory, corruption, and unfair treatment. The IEC has said it will not return anyone to parliament who has not been legitimately elected. But if there isn’t general acceptance of the process by which legitimacy is is determined, then you’ve got serious, serious problems. After all, if Afghans can’t trust the IEC or the ECC, why should they trust the attorney general’s office?