24 Feb 2010

Karzai takes control of election body appointments

2:02 pm on 24 February 2010

Western diplomats in Afghanistan say they're deeply concerned about a decree from Afghan President Hamid Karzai granting him total control over a key election body.

The move gives him the power to appoint all five members of Afghanistan's Electoral Complaints Commission, the BBC reports.

The watchdog helped expose massive fraud in last year's presidential poll, forcing Mr Karzai into a second vote.

The decree comes as Nato-led forces fight a major operation against the Taliban in central Helmand province.