"U.S. HAND SEEN IN AFGHAN ELECTION; Some candidates say the embassy pressured them not to run against President Karzai. American officials deny the accusations." - today's Los Angeles Times.
The candidates told the LAT that the U.S. ambassador--who has apparently earned the nickname "The Viceroy"--tried to essentially bribe them with various posts in order not to run. "Our hearts have been broken because we thought we could have beaten Mr. Karzai if this had been a true election," said one now former candidate.
It's worth noting that most of the guys complaining seem to have been members of the Northern Alliance, a group not known for it's adherence to high fact-checking standards.