The story of Afghanistan's least successful politician
The idea that Afghanistan's election system is rife with fraud is not exactly new. But a cable from the U.S. embassy in Kabul tried to put a human face on the costs of this corruption by highlighting the story of one candidate who tried, and failed, to convince the Afghan authorities to investigate allegations of fraud in the August 2009 Provincial Council elections.
The man seemed to have a good case: After gathering with his supporters on Election Day, the results came in -- and showed that the candidate had received no votes. The man submitted his complaint to the Election Complaints Commission (EEC), which upheld the highly improbable vote tally of zero. A subsequent search found, unsurprisingly, that the EEC had completely failed to investigate the case. Pleas to the Supreme Court, attorney general, and Parliament over the next several months also failed to resolve the issue.
"The inability of the Kapisa Provincial Council candidate to obtain a hearing illustrates the lassitude with which Afghanistan's electoral bodies monitor elections, and presents a convincing argument for delaying Afghanistan's next round of elections," the cable concluded.