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Envoys in Paris to Discuss Afghanistan

By VOA News
02 September 2009

International envoys are meeting in Paris Wednesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Officials say these discussions are part of a regular series of meetings among special representatives who focus on the nation.

U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke and other officials are expected to discuss the recent Afghan election, among other issues.

In related news, tribal leaders in southern Afghanistan have accused police of shutting down polling sites and stuffing election boxes with thousands of ballots marked for Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The New York Times (on its Web site Tuesday night) quoted the governor of Shorbak district, Delaga Bariz, as saying that Bariz tribesman in the area had decided to endorse Mr. Karzai's rival Abdullah Abdullah.

But, the governor said, aides to Mr. Karzai's brother, the leader of the Kandahar provincial council, Ahmed Wali, shut down all of the district's 45 polling sites on election day.

The governor and other tribal leaders claim that almost 24,000 ballots were shipped to Kabul from Shorback district, despite no one being allowed to vote.

And they charge that every ballot was for Mr. Karzai.

The accusations are among the most serious that have been publicized against Mr. Karzai and the electoral system, which faces fraud complaints from across the country. Mr. Karzai and his aides deny any wrongdoing.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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