Looks like Bush ally John Howard has narrowly won re-election in Australia.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s election is proving just how “messy” democracy is:

After a relatively peaceful and orderly start, Afghanistan’s first-ever presidential election was thrown into chaos Saturday after 15 candidates opposing President Hamid Karzai declared the results invalid, complaining of multiple vote-casting and other improper procedures. The contretemps threatened to ruin the credibility of an historic poll that has cost the international community almost $200 million to stage, attracted more than 10 million Afghans to register as voters, and been viewed as a crucial milestone in Afghanistan’s emergence from 25 years of war and turmoil into a stable, modernizing country. The candidates’ complaints stood in sharp contrast to the enthusiastic spirit of hundreds of thousands of Afghans who lined up outside village schools and mosques on a chilly, windswept morning to cast the first vote of their lives. Whoever won, they told visitors over and over, they hoped the election would bring peace and security. The national election commission said in mid-afternoon it would allow the election to continue despite the candidates’ protests but that it would investigate any complaints of irregularities. Ballot-counting was expected to take days because many polling stations were located in remote areas.


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