South Asia

Final Afghan parliamentary election results announced

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The electoral authorities in Afghanistan have announced the final batch of results from September's parliamentary election.

They have confirmed that all 11 seats in Ghazni province have been won by members of the Hazara ethnic group.

The outcome in Ghazni was delayed after indications that not a single candidate from the largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns, had won a seat.

Critics say that the Ghazni result was marred by widespread fraud.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said preliminary winners would hold their seats in the province.

Election commission Chairman Fazel Ahmad Manawi said Wednesday the results in Ghazni were "based on international standards".

Officials discarded 1.3 million Afghan ballots - nearly a quarter of the total - for fraud and disqualified 19 winning candidates across the country for cheating.

Many of President Hamid Karzai's favoured candidates did not do well in the vote and the Pashto-speaking majority in the old parliament has now disappeared.

Supporters of the president have been warning that if Pashtuns feel disenfranchised that could mean more recruits for the Taliban.

Hazaras are the third largest ethnic group in Ghazni.

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