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Abdullah Drops Out Of Afghan Election

From a conflicted Associated Press:

Afghan challenger drops out of runoff election

By Heidi Vogt And Rahim Faiez, Associated Press Writers

KABUL – President Hamid Karzai’s challenger withdrew Sunday from next weekend’s runoff election, effectively handing the incumbent a victory but raising doubts about the government’s credibility at a time when the U.S. is seeking an effective partner in the war against the Taliban.

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah said he made his decision after Karzai turned down his demands for changes to the Independent Election Commission and other measures that he said would prevent massive fraud, which marred the first round of balloting on Aug. 20.

Abdullah stopped short of calling for an electoral boycott and urged his followers "not to go to the streets, not to demonstrate." …

Kai Eide, the top U.N. official in Afghanistan, said in a statement that the next step is to "bring this electoral process to a conclusion in a legal and timely manner."

The statement did not address whether the runoff should go forward, though U.N. spokesman Aleem Siddique said it looked impractical…

In an emotional speech, Abdullah told supporters that the Karzai-appointed election commission had engineered massive fraud in the first-round vote, but his demands for replacing the top leadership had been rejected.

"I will not participate in the Nov. 7 election," Abdullah said, because a "transparent election is not possible."

He later told reporters that he was not calling for a boycott, but instead leaving it up to his supporters to decide whether to vote if a runoff goes forward on Saturday

Abdullah repeatedly talked about the need for "national unity," but he made no mention of agreeing to take part in any future unity government with Karzai, which the U.S. and its international partners believe is the best hope for curbing the Taliban insurgency…

Obama administration officials have said they would be receptive to a power-sharing deal to avoid a runoff if Karzai and Abdullah could agree on a formula.

A statement issued by the U.S. Embassy on Sunday was more vague.

"We fully endorse his emphasis on national unity," the statement said of Abdullah’s decision.

Will Mr. Obama use this as a further excuse to postpone any decision on reinforcing our troops in Afghanistan?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, November 1st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Abdullah Drops Out Of Afghan Election”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    What excuse now, Thin Man Dingle”Barry”?

    No excuse other than you are a coward, fascist, Mao loving, ass.

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