September 04, 2009
Afghanistan: A Stolen Election?
BY Joe Rubin
Over the last year we've been checking in with Jason Motlagh, a photojournalist who has been all over Afghanistan, including on military missions assigned to try and make the country safe enough to hold elections.
As Motlagh described back in February, it's a "hard fight," with fierce Taliban resistance, mounting civilian casualties and endemic corruption.
Amidst this backdrop, elections were held on August 20th. Not surprisingly the results are a mess. Evidence of rampant vote rigging, perpetrated mostly by President Hamid Karzai's supporters, continues to stack up. It remains uncertain if Karzai will exceed the 50 percent tally that would avoid a runoff. But Motlagh says that if Karzai wins this round, his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, and his supporters are unlikely to go quietly.
Motlagh spent weeks on the election trail with extraordinary access to some of the country's leading political players, including reformers and brutal warlords. He shares his images and insights with iWitness.
Motlagh's coverage from Afghanistan is funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and is part of a joint reporting venture between the center and FRONTLINE/World. Read his recent reports in Time magazine and The Economist.