| GEO World|
| Karzai blames foreigners for vote fraud|
| Updated at: 1108 PST, Friday, April 02, 2010|
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai lashed out at the U.N. and international community, accusing them of interfering in last year's fraud-tarnished presidential election and seeking to weaken his authority after parliament rejected his bid to expand hiscontrol over the country's electoral institutions.
Karzai did not specifically mention the United States, but his harsh words and his practice of blaming foreigners for the nation's problems reflect his increasingly difficult relations with Washington and its international allies.
During his speech, Karzai acknowledged there had been ``vast fraud'' in the August vote, which returned him to office for a second, five-year term. But he blamed the fraud on the U.N. and other foreign organizations, which he suggested were part of an international conspiracy to deny him re-election or tarnish his victory.
``No doubt, there was huge fraud. There was vast fraud. The fraud is not by the Afghans. This fraud has been done by the foreigners,'' Karzai said, including officials of the U.N., the European Union and``the embassies here in Kabul.''
He accused unidentified foreign embassies of trying to bribe members of the Karzai-appointed Independent Election Commission with offers of bulletproof cars in hopes they would block his first-round victory.