Afghan President Hamid Karzai has vowed that an election official who submitted an accurate tally of votes from the strife-torn country’s presidential election will “Definitely not be severely punished. Oh yes indeedy. Be sure of that.” Nodding with a knowing wink, and giving a thumbs up sign, Karzsi appeared to be struggling to supress a grin when questioned over the severity of the sanctions faced by those who dare to question official Afghan government policy on the matter.
Masood Ayub, who oversaw the voting process in Ashkasham in Badakhshan province, was reportedly one of several officials who took matters into their own hands and refused to exaggerate the number of voters, falsify ballot papers and stuff ballot boxes, after reporting a turn-out of only 12 people – none of whom voted for Karzai. Once reports of the incident reached the President early yesterday, a press conference was hastily called, at which a spokesman for Karzai was at pains to paint Ayub as a “lovely bloke” and somebody who “definitely won’t be ritually tortured by a bunch of brutal sadists for crimes against the State.”
Results from the August elections are yet to be finalised, but the latest figures have the incumbent on 54% of the total vote, with main rival Abdullah Abdullah on 28%. Should the trend continue, Karzai will avoid an additional round of voting and be sworn in for a second successive term. At yesterday’s press conference, the President expressed his satisfaction with the results so far.
‘We are pleased because it looks like there will not be another round of elections,’ he said. “We have been hard at work for months, tickling voters with big feather dusters, until they laugh so much that they just can’t help voting for us. Rest assured, we’ve also been staying well clear of various officials in positions of power and doing nothing whatsoever to produce fraudulent ballot papers — it’s just been so much fun!”
“I know there have been a lot of rumours in the press,” Karzai continued, “Let me assure you that this has been an emotional campaign from start to finish,” he stated. “But more than that, it’s been a campaign built on love…and cuddles. Masood Ayub is a man who needs a cuddle, and I’m going to make sure he gets one. A very, very, long, hard one. In the back of the head, or lower back.”