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Abdullah May ‘Boycott’ Afghan Runoff

From those handicappers at the Associated Press:

Sources: Abdullah to pull out of Afghan runoff

By Heidi Vogt And Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press Writers

KABUL – Afghan presidential challenger Abdullah Abdullah plans to boycott next week’s runoff against incumbent Hamid Karzai following a breakdown in talks on how to fix the country’s electoral crisis, two people familiar with the discussions said…

Abdullah, who was once Karzai’s foreign minister, put forward several conditions this week to avoid a repeat of the massive fraud of the August presidential election, including the replacement of the top election official and the suspension of several ministers.

He set Saturday as the deadline for his demands to be met.

A Westerner close to talks between the two sides said their agenda also included a power-sharing proposal by the challenger and cited both Karzai and Abdullah as saying that talks broke down Friday, prompting Abdullah to decide on a boycott of the Nov. 7 runoff.

An Afghan figure close to Abdullah said Saturday that the boycott decision came after a contentious and fruitless meeting Thursday over Abdullah’s conditions for a runoff.

Both spoke on condition of anonymity, saying that the announcement must come from Abdullah himself.

The Afghan said a boycott was certain, and that Abdullah would likely tell his supporters to simply stay home during the vote.

Afghan electoral law says that any vote cast for a candidate who withdraws will not be counted. However, neither electoral nor the constitution specifically address the issue of a candidate who does not formally withdraw but urges supporters to boycott the polls.

A spokesman for the Afghan election commission said that it is too late for Abdullah to officially withdraw and that a boycott will not prevent the runoff from going forward.

"The election will be held and all procedures will go as normal," Noor Mohammad Noor said…

A spokesman for the Abdullah campaign, Fazel Sancharaki, said no decision had been made on a boycott and that the candidate would wait until the end of Saturday to see if his demands are met before making any announcement

Abdullah complained Monday that there were no assurances that the November vote would be fairer than the first balloting and demanded that the head of the Karzai-appointed Independent Election Commission, Azizullah Lodin, be fired…

In private discussions, Abdullah also pressed Karzai for a power-sharing agreement instead of a vote, but Karzai refused, insisting instead on a vote and then a power-sharing agreement, the Westerner close to the talks told The Associated Press…

There is barely a dime’s worth of difference between these two candidates, so it is hard to see what all of the fuss is about.

Though, the fact that the Obama administration has tried to smear Karzai makes us want to root for him.

In fact, we can’t help but wonder if some of Mr. Obama’s handlers didn’t recommend that Mr. Abdullah try this tactic, since he probably would not win otherwise.

Meanwhile, our troops are supposed to wait for reinforcements while all of this gets thrashed out?

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, October 31st, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Abdullah May ‘Boycott’ Afghan Runoff”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    WELL……..the winner is in!!

    Stop dragging your knuckles Barry! Back your troops up and get to the next 18 holes! (before you miss your tee time)


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