2 Apr 2010

Afghan leader blames foreigners for election fraud

4:00 pm on 2 April 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused foreign election observers of fraud during last year's disputed vote.

While conceding that fraud was widespread, Mr Karzai said foreigners were to blame, including the head of the EU election monitors.

He singled out Peter Galbraith, then deputy head of the UN mission, who he said had organised the fraud and then fed details to the international media in an attempt to blacken his, Mr Karzai's, name.

Mr Galbraith has described the claim as incredible and comic.

"President Karzai had denied that there was any fraud in the election," he told the BBC. "For him now to admit that there's vast fraud is something - but it's absurd to suggest that I and my team at the United Nations organised a vast fraud on his behalf."

Mr Karzai is currently locked in a power struggle with parliament over his attempt to appoint all the monitors in Afghanistan's election process.