Afghanistan's Parliamentary elections next week are likely to be "messy, fiercely contested and manipulated at all levels", according to a report by Martine van Bijlert for the Afghanistan Analysts Network.
The report, Who Controls the Vote?, focuses on nine provincial case studies of the 2009 provincial council elections and finds evidence of massive ballot-stuffing, tally fraud and manipulation of the final results at the tally centre. It says that this year's candidates and local Independent Electoral Commission staff will revert to the same tactics again.
Van Bijlert says that the expectation of widespread fraud should not detract observers from flagging up misconduct: "It is the silence, or late and muted reactions, of international observers that have often most confused Afghan voters", she says.
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