President Hamid Karzai on Thursday delivered one of his most stinging criticisms to date of the foreign presence in Afghanistan, accusing the West and the United Nations of wanting a “puppet government” and of orchestrating fraud in last year’s election. ..
…Karzai, who did not cite the United States directly, accused the United Nations and the international media of conspiring against him. He said the daily attacks on his character by foreigners are intended to marginalize him, to make him “psychologically smaller and smaller,” and he accused former U.N. diplomat Peter W. Galbraith of orchestrating fraud and attempting to bribe election officials. Galbraith, the former deputy of the U.N. mission in Kabul, was fired in a dispute over the United Nations’ handling of fraud in the Aug. 20 elections.
…Foreigners, Karzai said, don’t want the next parliamentary election, scheduled for September, to take place. “They also want the parliament to be like me, battered and wounded. They want me to be an illegitimate president. And they want the parliament to be illegitimate.”
Karzai singled out Galbraith and Philippe Morillon, a former French general and the head of the European Union vote-monitoring mission.
“There was fraud in the presidential election and the provincial election; no doubt there was massive fraud,” he said. “That was not done by the Afghans. The foreigners did that. That fraud was done by Galbraith. That fraud was done by Morillon. And that fraud was done by the embassies here.”
Galbraith said that when he first heard that Karzai was accusing him of organizing voter fraud, he thought it “must be an April Fools’ joke.”
“Karzai is unhinged if he expects anyone to believe such a bizarre accusation,” Galbraith wrote in an e-mail. “It underscores why he is not likely to reform and therefore cannot be a credible partner.”
2010-04-02 18:50:47 UTC