Languages
Page last updated at 21:24 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 22:24 UK

US envoy 'in angry Karzai talks'

By Ian Pannell
BBC News, Kabul

Afghan President Hamid Karzai
Mr Karzai was elected president of Afghanistan in 2004

The US special envoy to Afghanistan has held an "explosive" meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the country's election, the BBC has learnt.

Richard Holbrooke raised concerns about ballot-stuffing and fraud, by a number of candidates' teams, sources say.

The US envoy also said a second-round run-off could make the election process more credible, the sources said.

Concerns have already been raised about Afghanistan's election, although final results are not due until September.

A number of senior sources have confirmed the details of a meeting between Mr Holbrooke and Mr Karzai held on 21 August, one day after the election.

The meeting was described as "explosive" and "a dramatic bust-up".

Mr Holbrooke is said to have twice raised the idea of holding a second round run-off because of concerns about the voting process.

Graph showing election results
Other leading candidates:
Ramazan Bashardost
108,000 (10.8%)
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
28,000 (2.8%)
Winning candidate needs more than 50% of votes to avoid a run-off

He is believed to have complained about the use of fraud and ballot stuffing by some members of the president's campaign team, as well as other candidates.

Mr Karzai reacted very angrily and the meeting ended shortly afterwards, the sources said.

However, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Kabul denied there had been any shouting or that Mr Holbrooke had stormed out.

She refused to discuss the details of the meeting.

A spokesman for the presidential palace denied the account of the conversation.

There have been many doubts raised about the Afghan presidential election, about the turnout and irregularities.

But this is the first time that a leading Western official has apparently expressed it quite so openly.

It will raise more questions about the credibility of the whole process and could well make the plan to establish a meaningful government in a stable country all the harder to achieve.



Print Sponsor



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific