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KABUL, Afghanistan Oct 16, 2005 — A U.N.-backed election commission has dismissed about 50 of its staff for suspected fraud in last month's legislative polls, officials said Sunday, raising fears for the legitimacy of Afghanistan's final formal step toward democracy.
Some 680 ballot boxes, about 3 percent of the total, have been taken out of the counting process because of suspicions they were stuffed, said Richard Atwood, chief of operations for the joint U.N.-Afghan election commission.
But he said, "the fraud that has occurred does not affect the integrity of the election" and he ruled out a re-count.