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Afghan Election Not A Sign Of The Government's Sustainability

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Afghan Election Not A Sign Of The Government's Sustainability

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Afghan Election Not A Sign Of The Government's Sustainability

Afghan Election Not A Sign Of The Government's Sustainability

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Haji Gul Nazim shows how he was able to wash off voter registration ink from his finger. To vote in Afghanistan, each voter presents and identification card and dips his finger in a bottle of indelible ink. If the ink washes off, voters might then be able to vote again -- using bogus identification cards. Jim Wildman/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jim Wildman/NPR

Haji Gul Nazim stormed in to the polling center at Bibi Sara Girls School in Kabul. He said he was running for parliament. He said he had voted earlier in the day at another polling station. And he said he had just washed off the indelible ink that was supposed to prevent him from voting again.

Nazim's accusation, one among scores of so-called irregularities uncovered by election observers across the country, further damages Afghanistan's beleaguered voting system — already worn down by violence and low turnout.

"It is quite a miracle that elections took place," UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Staffan de Mistura told NPR's Renee Montagne.

"Around four million people — in spite of the threats — decided to vote, which meant also they believe in the outcome."

Renee asked de Mistura whether this election was an indicator for how Afghanistan's government might survive once western troops begin to pull out of the country.

"It is an important step, but not the crucial one," he said. "The real test comes now. How will the complaints be looked at? We will see."

More of the interview today on Morning Edition.

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