International brief ~ Afghan elections complaint deadline expires

The time limit for complaints about irregularities in Saturday's presidential election in Afghanistan passed Tuesday evening local time. Election regulations stipulated that candidates had until 1330 GMT (0930 ET) to submit complaints to the Joint Electoral Management Body. The JEMB will now investigate and process the complaints to determine if there were any errors so serious as to require another vote. The actual counting of ballots is anticipated to begin Wednesday, with ballot boxes from regions associated with complaints being separated so that they will not taint the overall count. Key opposition leaders who originally threatened a boycott of the vote results have now stated their intent to abide by the decisions of the JEMB, and to respect the will of the millions of Afghanis that cast their votes. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the elections. The UN Press Centre has more. BBC News has more.... Major General Carlos Garcia of the Philippines will become the first individual charged under the country's new 'lifestyle checks' (text of anti-corruption law here) designed to discover and punish corruption among high level government officials an official military spokesman said Tuesday. Garcia is accused of using his position to accrue over $1 million (USD), even though his pay is equivalent to about $600 a month. Garcia has already been suspended for six months while prosecutors investigated charges of corruption, and has been indicted under charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and fraud with the intent to deceive the government. Corruption in the military elite has been alleged frequently in the Philippines, and was believed to be a factor motivating the aborted coup attempt of junior military officers in the summer of 2003. Garcia will be tried by a military court-martial, and government prosecutors are also expected to file civilian criminal charges under separate criminal provisions. The Philippine's Sun Star has more.... The African Union will begin its 2nd High Level Inter-Governmental Meeting on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism on Wednesday. The conference will formally create the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism, review the progress of implementation of the 1999 OAU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism (text here [PDF]), and discuss the best methods to improve regional, continental, and international cooperation in combating terrorism. Read the AU materials and programme here.... Abdullahi Yusuf was officially accepted Monday as the first President of Somalia (country profile here), the first elected head of state for the country in over a decade. UN Special Representative for Somalia Winston Tubman has said the election complied with international standards. The elections came following 2 years of peace talks that finally ended with the various factions agreeing to accept the results of the election. Yusuf's next step is to pick a Prime Minister, with whom he will create a provisional 5 year government that will facilitate full democratic elections. In January, Yusuf will also move the official seat of government from Nairobi, where it's been based for security reasons, to Mogadishu, the traditional capital of Somalia. Read the official UN response to the Somalian election here. CNS News has more.

 

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