Washington Babylon — October 29, 2009, 10:56 am

Paying the Price for Democracy in Afghanistan

From ProPublica:

The United Nations cannot account for tens of millions of dollars provided to the troubled Afghan election commission, according to two confidential U.N. audits and interviews with current and former senior diplomats.

As Afghanistan prepares for a second round of national voting, the documents and interviews paint the fullest picture to date of the finances of the election commission, which has been accused of facilitating election fraud and operating ghost polling places. The new disclosures also deepen the questions about the U.N.’s oversight of money provided by the United States and other nations to ensure a fair election in Afghanistan.

“Everybody kept sending money” to the elections commission, said Peter Galbraith, the former deputy chief of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan. “Nobody put the brakes on. U.S. taxpayers spent hundreds of millions of dollars on a fraudulent election.” Galbraith, a deputy to the senior U.N. official in Afghanistan, was fired last month after protesting fraud in the elections.

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