The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, has unilaterally taken control of the country’s top electoral watchdog, provoking outrage from western diplomats, the Guardian has learnt.

The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC), which forced Karzai into a runoff election after it disqualified nearly 1m fraudulent votes in last year’s presidential election, previously included three foreign experts named by the UN.

However, according to a new presidential decree published today, Karzai will have the exclusive power to appoint all five panel members.
Diplomatic sources say Kai Eide, the head of the UN in Afghanistan, had struck a private deal with Karzai under which he will use his new powers to appoint at least two foreigners to the election watchdog.

But that will mean Karzai’s Afghan appointees would hold the balance of power in the commission and be unlikely to challenge his wishes.

The fox has barricaded himself inside the hen-house.

  1. chris says:

    Look at what’s going on in Europe countries and American banks. Considering where he comes from Karzai is a model of effectiveness and honesty. Spiffy hat too!

  2. Greg Allen says:

    I can hardly believe what a mess the Afghanistan invasion has become.

    Bush’s neglect and mismanagement of that war is criminal, IMHO.

    While I wish Obama had just gotten us out, I am at least comforted by the fact that Obama is smart and engaged enough to actively manage the war. This is in start contrast with Bush.

    Even so, I’m not sure the mess Bush created in Afghanistan is fixable.

  3. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    Someone please remind me of a “president” installed/elected with our backing who didn’t seize all power after a couple of years. Help me, I’m drawing a blank here.

  4. HMeyers says:

    Why are we still in Afghanistan?

    The place is a permanent peacekeeping mission type of craphole and we went there to find Bin Laden.

    If Obama would withdraw us from there then at least you could give him credit for getting something important done, but instead he adds 30,000 more troops there???

  5. RBG says:

    2. Greg Allan. I expect Bush’s Secretary of Defense will finish that mess as soon as they turf the Taliban from their last remaining stronghold. Hopefully he’ll be able to progress with Afghanistan as they have Iraq.


  6. Loupe Garou says:

    #5 Why are we still in Afghanistan?

    Can’t blame this one on the oil.

  7. ECA says:

    Pot calling the kettle BLACK??

    If you think about it, ALL the laws needed for the interaction of humans had been made..
    The only reasons for NEW laws is to protect the Citizens from Corps.
    MOSt of those were installed and WORKING..Until about 15-20 years ago, as the CORPS started taking over the gov. and changing the laws.

    Even NOW we want to stick our fingers in ANOTHER nation, and CONTROL it. NOT as a gov. But as a CORP, and teach them HOW to be consumers..

  8. soundwash says:

    This is a rather blatant case of the Pot calling the Kettle Black.

    A day later…
    /me still trying to get the blank look off my face #3 put there..

    –as for the “why are we still there? -its part of the “script”, silly.

    #9 filled in the (oil) blank..

    Given that scripted morphine derived pain killers have increased BIG time in the U.S alone..and Afghanistan has/controls some 90% of the world’s opium/poppy supply for “legal use” -never mind the black market..the drug/oil financial incentives (let alone arms) is refutable.. -add to that, the “treasure” hunt for ancient artifacts that was started in the Iraq war is also being carried over..

    The most obvious of all:

    Battle Tactics 101: We are saber rattling for a war with Iran (why?? -i’ll never know)

    -The first order of business in war (aside from Intel) is to flank your enemy whenever possible.

    Look at an Iran map:

    Iraq on the left, Afghanistan on the right, -Iran is smack in the middle of both of them. Anyone with half a [battle] brain knows this is why we are building up and [still] there.. Heck, I learned that playing R.I.S.K was i was around 9-10 years old..

    The troops surge was a dual purpose cover to prep for a possible Iran conflict.

    -anyway..ignore this “political” news and keep at least one eye locked on domestic/economy issues..

    -as the smokescreen is starting to clear, some new “smoke” will have to be “popped” to cover up the BS paper recovery, the huge wave of pending CRE mortgage resets (which will be bigger than the the 2007-8 mess) and the pending huge jump in food prices from the failed fall harvest..

    (take a look at wheat futures to see just how high its fixin’ to go…)

    The military will take of itself. -we have to prep for major mess about to hit us here at home..


  9. Greg Allen says:

    >> RBG said, on February 22nd, 2010 at 8:43 pm
    >> 2. Greg Allan. I expect Bush’s Secretary of Defense will finish that mess as soon as they turf the Taliban from their last remaining stronghold. Hopefully he’ll be able to progress with Afghanistan as they have Iraq.

    I wish this too! Despite my opposition to nearly every thing Bush did I always wished him success in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    However, I still have my doubts about a lasting peace in Iraq. Only time will tell if the country breaks up into sectarian violence.

    As for a Taliban “stronghold,” I don’t see it your way at all.

    I used to live in a Taliban “stronghold” — it was Karachi. Seriously, I knew some of those guys. Sometimes they had a different local name but they were the same movement. (We even hired one as a guard. He conveniently came with his own gun!)

    What complicates it even more — the Taliban didn’t attack us on 911. That was Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is now a philosophy more than organization. You can’t wipe that out with military tactics.


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