The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Afghanistan's "Phony Elections"


Gopal is an independent journalist based in Afghanistan and has reported for the Christian Science Monitor and the Wall Street Journal. He is one of the few journalists covering the recent Afghan elections from a war zone. See his piece in the Christian Science Monitor, "Ballot Stuffing Witnessed Amidst Troubled Afghan Vote," which states: "The elections in Wardak were marred by widescale fraud, violence, and an extremely low turnout, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the new class of lawmakers that will represent the province." Also, see Gopal's Twitter feed.

Foreign correspondent and book author Erlich said today: "Once again the Afghan elections proved to be characterized by vote buying and ballot box stuffing. Why is it that when pro-U.S. regimes occasionally hold elections, they are called 'emerging democracies.' Yet when Venezuela holds free and fair elections, has a outspoken opposition media and changes are made through national votes on the constitution, it's on the verge of being a communist dictatorship? The phony elections in Afghanistan highlight the folly of continued U.S. military occupation of that country."

Erlich has reported four times from Afghanistan and is author of the new book Conversations with Terrorists: Middle East Leaders on Politics, Violence and Empire. He is currently on a national book tour discussing the book.

A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.