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Afghanistan: UN-backed fraud panel member resigns

KABUL (AP) - There's a new cloud over the disputed results of Afghanistan's presidential election.

A member of a U.N.-backed panel set up to investigate election fraud complaints resigned today, blaming what he called "the interference of foreigners."

The resignation comes as the fraud panel is expected to decide this week whether to throw out enough votes to force a runoff between President Hamid Karzai (HAH'-mihd KAHR'-zeye) and his top challenger, Abdullah Abdullah.

One of two Afghans on the Electoral Complaints Commission (Maulavi Mustafa Barakzia) alleges that the three foreigners on the panel - one American, one Canadian and one Dutch - were "making all decisions on their own" without consultation.

The Obama administration and its international partners had hoped the first presidential election run by Afghans would restore legitimacy to the government.


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