Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Ex-UN man denies plot to unseat Karzai

By Barbara Plett
BBC News, United Nations

Peter Galbraith
Mr Galbraith had been critical of the Afghan election commission

A former UN envoy to Afghanistan has denied reports that he plotted to unseat President Hamid Karzai with the help of the White House.

Peter Galbraith said he simply suggested replacing Mr Karzai with an interim government to avoid a constitutional crisis.

He said he was fired for accusing his boss, Kai Eide, of concealing widespread fraud in the elections.

Mr Galbraith has launched UN proceedings to challenge his dismissal.

He says that his suggestion to remove President Karzai was simply a recommendation in case the disputed Afghan presidential election remained unresolved.

And he denies reports that he wanted to involve the White House: The idea was raised in an internal UN discussion, he says.

Mr Galbraith was responding to a newspaper article quoting a letter written by his former boss Kai Eide.

Mr Eide said his deputy's plan was unconstitutional, represented international interference of the worst sort, and deeply angered Mr Karzai.

Peter Galbraith's response to the article adds to the feud between the two men.

He accused his former boss of covering up the degree of election fraud to favour President Karzai.

He says that is why he was fired in September, even though his predictions about the scale of the fraud turned out to be correct.

Mr Galbraith says that he has begun UN legal proceedings not to get his job back - but to get justice.

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