14 Mar 2010

Afghan president to allow foreigners on election panel

6:27 am on 14 March 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has agreed to let two foreigners join a panel monitoring forthcoming parliamentary elections, reversing an earlier decision.

Last month, Mr Karzai signed a decree letting him appoint all five members of the Electoral Complaints Commission.

But he came under fire for what some saw as a bid to control a body which stripped nearly a third of his votes in last year's fraud-tainted election.

Mr Karzai was declared the eventual victor after his opponent dropped out.

A spokesperson says Mr Karzai will now accept some foreigners on the body, because the nation is in a transitional phase to democracy.