Karzai backs down on election commission

Hamid Karzai in Germany earlier this year
Hamid Karzai in Germany earlier this year Reuters

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has backed down in a confrontation with foreign powers over the make-up of a key oversight body for September’s general election.


Karzai’s office on Saturday announced that two foreigners will sit on the Electoral Complaints Commission.

Last month he sparked international outrage by decreeing that all five members of the commission would be appointed by the president.

During the 2009 presidential election, the complaints commission blocked moves by the Karzai-appointed Independent Election Commission to give the fraud-hit ballot a clean bill of health. Two foreign members of the commission, as well as at least one Afghan, were credited with the body’s stance.

Karzai has not yet made it clear who will nominate the foreign members of the new commission.

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