The U.N.’s top official in Afghanistan has defended himself against accusations by his now-fired deputy that he covered-up evidence of electoral fraud, as the organization preps to announce the winner of the country's disputed presidential vote, The Los Angeles Times reported.
Kai Eide acknowledged that widespread fraud had occurred but said the U.N.’s recount process would deliver an acceptable outcome. His news conference was attended by a coterie of Western ambassadors in a show support, according to the Times.
Last month, the U.N.’s secretary general fired Eide’s deputy, Peter W. Galbraith, after the long-time American diplomat publicly criticized his boss. Galbraith charged that Eide had covered up evidence of vote fraud and both men clashed over Eide’s decision to keep open polling sites that the U.N. could not secure. Four of Galbraith's staffers later resigned in protest after their boss got the axe, the Times reported.
The election fight has played out as President Obama weighs whether to escalate the war in Afghanistan by sending up to 40,000 new troops amid a backdrop of rising violence.