Thursday, October 14, 2004


An "overwhelming majority of ballots" have been "approved" in the Afghanistan elections:

An international team investigating allegations of fraud in last weekend's presidential election set aside a small portion of suspect ballot boxes Wednesday but approved the overwhelming majority of ballots for counting.

Under pressure to resolve disputes over Afghanistan's first democratic presidential vote Saturday, two members of the United Nations panel began their work without the third member, who is yet to be named.

Although the deadline for candidates to file complaints was extended until today, investigators said they would not set aside any more ballot boxes.

The U.N. team asked election organizers to isolate suspect boxes at 11 polling stations in four provinces after receiving complaints from candidates, said Craig Jenness, a Canadian member of the investigating panel.

There were more than 22,000 voting stations, and about 5,000 polling centers, in Afghanistan's 34 provinces. Tuesday's deadline for complaints was extended 48 hours, Jenness said.


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