ECC: Karzai must Stand in Runoff Election

The UN-sponsored Electoral Complaints Commission in Afghanistan has determined that after fraudulent ballots are thrown out, incumbent Hamid Karzai received less than 50% of the vote, forcing him into a runoff with challenger Abdullah Abdullah.

Karzai is now expected to accept on Tuesday that he must face a second round of elections, though over the weekend he was making noises about standing firm and refusing to accept the ECC verdict. This intransigence probably in itself delayed President Barack Obama’s decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, since he could hardly decently do so to support a corrupt and discredited government that stole the election no less surely than had Ahmadinejad in Iran.

Update Karzai just formally acquiesced in the runoff, which has been set for November 7.

CBS reports this morning on the pressure applied to Karzai by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. John Kerry.

ITV reports on the downside of having a runoff election in Afghanistan, including the potential for violence. When the runoff is held this fall, it will exclude many Afghans who live in snowy places or high altitudes, since winter is arriving in some of the country. There is also danger of Pashtun- Tajik violence, since the two ethnic groups are backing different candidates.

Aljazeera English has video on the ECC decision and its tussle with the local, Karzai appointed electoral commission.

On Iranian official television, outspoken MP George Galloway debates Dr Michael Williams, an Afghanistan expert at Royal Holloway College who has advised President Obama. Galloway argues that people are dying like flies in Afghanistan and that hopes for “developing” the country by military might are ‘doomed.’

End/ (Not Continued)

7 Responses

  1. Glenn Greenwald's column today is on what insights Muslim counter insurgency is occupation and policies. Cites a 2004 Pentagon report that said just that.

    link to salon.com

  2. Is there online a detailed report on how the fraud took place? A report that shows exactly how the fraud worked? Did President Karzai personally orchestrate the fraud operations everywhere, or at the opposite extreme, did overzealous Karzai supporters carry out their fraud against Karzai's wishes?

    If they're going to have a runoff, I'd really like to know just what they're going to do differently so as to prevent more fraud….

    – Inkan1969

  3. Just a thought concerning the Afghan elections. Who did organize all this fraud and why isn't there a judicial inquiry? Why is Karzai (assuming he is behind the fraud) even allowed to run in the run-off? Why isn't anyone asking that question?
    Thanks for your work,
    Bruno Lequesne
    Tuscaloosa, AL

  4. Guess they'll have to replace a lot of those original poll officials with new ones. Can see the want ad now:

    Great employment opportunity! Pay guaranteed by the UN! Armored transportation provided but must bring own flak jacket. All replies kept strictly confidential.

  5. U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates tears up Obama administration "talking points", declares: The United States cannot wait for problems surrounding the legitimacy of the Afghan government to be resolved before making a decision on troops. and fwiw My comment is "good riddance!" People are dying and being grievously wounded Over There every day; the generals are floundering (there is no "strategy" = non circular-logic choice between "fighting insurgents" and "fighting terrorism," really. Terrorism is a tactic; and Generals Petraeus and McChrystal think they're fighting a 'counter-insurgency', and this "insurgency", itself is a counter-occupation guerrilla war). And who gives a damn, what difference does it make anyway who the corrupt puppet mayor of Kabul is? Besides, the issue never was "resolving problems surrounding the legitimacy of the Afghan government." fwiw, The issue remains: Resolving problems = the blood and treasure costs -vs- benefits of our military occupation of Afghanistan: this deal does not "pencil," Mr. President. And it is our choice, the American electorate's choice, and the American commander in chief's responsibility to either continue the counter-occupation guerrilla WAR Over There, or to unwind the WAR ECONOMY Over Here.

  6. .
    Exactly who among the Afghan population will be placated by a runoff ? Can't we foresee the results ?

    If its just the tribe of Dr. Abdullah, the Tadjiks, why bother ?
    I get the sense that the 45 – 55% of the population that is Pashtoon views President Hamed Karzai as a tool of Western occupation. They don't care about a runoff.
    The Hazara and others who don't belong to the two biggest ethnic groups know that the fix is already in for a "unity government" that unifies those 2 groups and excludes the others.

    The US is paying for this runoff election, and through the use of proxies, is conducting it. Methinks as a PR exercise for the benefit of the American voting public.

    an avid student of political theater
    .

  7. AFGHANISTAN VOTE RECOUNT IS A COMPLETE FARCE AND A FRAUD

    The Afghan Presidential elections were rigged in many ways, however the vote recount is even bigger farce. It seems that EU & US representatives conducting this exercise had a pre-determined goal to bring Hamid Karzai's vote below 50% in order to call a run off election.

    The two Afghan individuals involved with recount effort resigned in disgust a few days ago, when they discovered the real mandate of EU representatives. It is amazing how Mr. Karzai's vote has been brought down to 49.6% (just below 50%) to order a recount. First the elections were a farce and now the recount is an even bigger farce.

    If the intention is to establish democracy and rule of law in Afghanistan, then this is a total violation of all democratic norms. The Afghan populace has no interest whatsoever in these goings on as they don't see their life changing either under Karzai or Abdullah. After all these two gentlemen have been center stage for last eight years and are responsible for the failure of Afghan civil and military administration. Efforts are now afoot by EU & US to get Karzai to form a coalition with Abdullah, a sure recipe for disaster.

    In the last elections, less than 30% Afghan electorate voted and when fraudulent votes are counted out, the count is probably less than 25%. In a run off election less than 20% are likely to vote. If President Obama and Hillary Clinton are betting on this democratic move, then it is doomed to failure.

    What is needed is to rescind the fraudulent elections, disqualify Karzai and Abdullah for they represent drug and crime syndicates, form a Government of national unity of all Afghan ethnic groups for a period of one year and then have fresh elections. That would allow for healing to take place in fractious Afghan society and also for new leadership to emerge. The people of Afghanistan need to be inclusive in this process, they are then likely be more involved in the democratic process.

    A foreign imposed formula is only likely to bring more chaos, more ethnic rivalry and destabilization of the region resulting in foreign troops having to stay longer than they need to. Do the US public have the stomach for US forces to stay there another five years and can the US Military sustain continued war, I think not.

Comments are closed.