Six weeks after Afghanistan's national presidential election, the outcome is still unresolved. Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission reported preliminary results last month giving incumbent President Hamid Karzai 54.6 percent of the vote, but accusations of ballot box stuffing and fraud abound.
The United Nations-backed Electoral Complaints Commission has now ordered a partial recount and the U.S. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, has also become embroiled in the election dispute.
Complicating the matter, the U.N. dismissed the top U.S. official at the mission, former Ambassador Peter Galbraith, because of a falling-out with his boss, U.N. Special Representative Kai Eide, over how to deal with the widespread charges.
Galbraith charges that Eide refused to take steps to prevent the fraud, and concealed it afterwards.
"In July, before the elections, I came to the realization that the key problem was going to come from ghost polling stations, that is to say, polling stations which were located on maps that were in areas that were either too insecure to open or even controlled by the Taliban." Peter Galbraith, former U.S. Diplomat
"Indeed, there was a fraud. It was determined that way. But less claims of fraud this time conducted by the Afghans themselves, this election, than in previous elections, so we have to give time to these institutions to do their job and to deliver the outcome. I mean, we cannot be judged and we cannot meddle into their own internal affairs." Edmond Mulet, assistant secretary general, United Nations
1. What can you tell about a country from the way it chooses a president?
2. How might violence affect election results?
1. Do Galbraith's accusations shock you? Why or why not?
2. If the election was as Mr. Galbraith says then do you think American should support the Afghan government? Why or why not?
3. What would you do if you were in charge of the Afghan elections?
4. If it was unsafe to vote in your neighborhood would you still do it? Why or why not?