28 Aug 2009

Heated meeting over Afghan elections

1:14 pm on 28 August 2009

A heated meeting about the credibility of last week's election in Afghanistan, has reportedly been held between US special envoy Richard Holbrooke and President Hamid Karzai.

The BBC reports Mr Holbrooke raised the idea of a second round which would make the election process more credible.

The winning candidate needs more than 50% of votes to avoid a run-off.

Mr Holbrooke also referred to reports of election fraud and ballot stuffing. Heated words were exchanged and the meeting ended after 13 minutes.

Afghan officials denied this account of the meeting, which took place the day after the election.

The BBC reports many doubts have been raised about the presidential election on 20 August - about the turnout and irregularities.

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