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Problems in one province delay Afghan election; re-vote possible, officials say

Ghazni is "a real dilemma," said one U.S. official. "The big worry, I think, is Pashtun disenfranchisement in Ghazni. This could tip us to real ethnic issues, whether it is addressed or not."

Shahgul Razaie, a Hazara candidate in Ghazni who according to preliminary tallies would be among the winners, said that the Afghan government should accept the outcome.

"If we believe in democracy, then we have to accept it," she said. "If we have another election, it will have the same result as this one."

But Khial Mohammad Husseini, a Pashtun candidate who fared poorly, said the preliminary results "will encourage Pashtuns to revolt."

"The election commission and others have intentionally interfered and committed fraud to take Pashtuns off the list and bring in other people," he said. "Karzai's doing nothing. It's not his fault, we blame the IEC."

"New elections should take place all over the country, not just in Ghazni," Husseini added. "There was nothing but fraud in the entire country."

Special correspondent Javed Hamdard contributed to this report.


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