The Guardian reports today under the headline “Crisis looms in Kabul over Karzai election results:”
Frantic diplomacy under way as report looks set to give Afghan president less than 50% of the vote, forcing run-off.
Karzai’s share of the vote is expected to drop to below 50% as a result of the inquiry, forcing a run-off with his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah.
A western diplomat said that a report in Friday’s Washington Post claiming that Karzai’s share of the vote is set to fall from 55% to 47 far lower than expected had sparked a major political crisis in Kabul. “He is in total denial he genuinely does not accept the level of fraud. He believes it’s an American attempt to force him into a second round,” the diplomat said.
Remember this from the DomPost last month:
There are also questions about the legitimacy of the Afghan Government after vote-rigging allegations against president Hamid Karzai, who claimed victory in recent elections despite a United Nations watchdog ordering a recount of up to 500,000 ballots.
“I think a growing number of people in New Zealand and elsewhere … are concerned that we would be sending our people to die for a regime that we don’t believe is an effective governor of Afghanistan,” Mr Goff said.
Mr Key acknowledged concerns about the elections, but said he did not seek advice on the issue before authorising the deployment.
He brushed off suggestions he should have waited for the final result to avoid any perception New Zealand was propping up an illegitimate government. “… we are supporting that administration as we seek to try and stabilise Afghanistan
Forget about National’s “no wurries” policy and the World Cup fiasco – this is serious mismanagement. There’s no need to call for Heather to come back from New York, we’ve got Phil Goff here already. At least he understands the issues and has a safe pair of hands.