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Karzai Gives In, Agrees to Runoff

Posted on Oct 19, 2009
White House / Lawrene Jackson

Afghanistan will hold a runoff election on Nov. 7 after a U.N. commission stripped President Hamid Karzai of his victory, citing rampant fraud. Karzai, under heavy foreign pressure, accepted the commission’s findings Tuesday and agreed to the runoff.


The New York Times is reporting that Afghan President Hamid Karzai will accept a runoff election with rival Abdullah Abdullah after a quarter of his votes were declared fraudulent. Alternatively, Karzai could find himself in a power-sharing deal or he could reject international pressure altogether and dig in his heels.

Earlier, the U.N. Electoral Complaints Commission found “clear and convincing evidence of fraud” and dropped Karzai’s total haul to below the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff.

Team Obama then launched a full-court press to get Karzai to accept the commission’s findings. The Times cautiously reported Monday that Karzai had agreed, although it’s possible he was just trying to get John Kerry off his back.

We will know more after the Afghan president makes his intentions clear, which could happen Tuesday.  —PZS

New York Times:

During a hastily arranged two-hour meeting with Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, a key foreign policy ally of President Obama, and the United States ambassador, Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry, at the presidential palace in Kabul on Monday, Mr. Karzai, after initially hesitating, agreed to accept the findings, the officials said.

“He is going to announce his intentions,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters at the State Department. “I am going to let him do that, but I am encouraged at the direction the situation is moving.”

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By gerard, October 20, 2009 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

Volumes have been written by people more knowledgeable than I on why we should get out of Afghanistan a.s.a.p.—in fact, should stop warring in the Middle East for any reason—oil or nation-building—whatever.  The real reason we don’t get out,most likely,is that getting out involves eating crow—admitting defeat, saying we made a mistake.  Such honest humility is difficult for a powerful, self-centered nation with delusions of grandeur to admit.

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By BlueEagle, October 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

We in the US love fixed elections. Let’s see another! It makes for good reality TV.

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By felicity, October 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Hold another election?  And if Karzai emerges the winner has nothing to do with anything of import. For years, Karzai, relatives and friends and hangers-on have been syphoning off zillions of American dollars meant to rebuild Afghanistan - a fact which seems to have escaped our government?

This seemingly cozy little scam perpetrated by and profitted from by the power elite in America will yet again remain under the rug.  The subterfuge is truly brilliant.

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By MarthaA, October 20, 2009 at 11:32 am Link to this comment

Great, maybe Afghanistan can be rid of Karzai.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, October 20, 2009 at 11:16 am Link to this comment

The run-off election will be as crooked as the general election.  Karzai will win in a landslide.  Obama will claim everything is hunky-dory.

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By melpol, October 20, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment

It is beating a dead horse by trying to stop the U.S. from being a military empire.
War profiteers have a good deal and they will never surrender to those that want
to bring our boys back home. The total cost of defending America against
imaginary enemies at home and abroad is over a trillion dollars annually. Any
deep cuts in that budget would cause massive unemployment and riots in the
streets. It is best for “Peaceniks” to find some other interest than to keep on
beating a dead horse.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, October 20, 2009 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A good reason for American troops to be in Afghanistan
and Pakistan.  Class Dismissed in Swat Valley:

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By dihey, October 20, 2009 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

“Winning” in Afghanistan is apparently worth the gamble. The worst outcome for Obama of the snap elections is a win of Karzai who will then become even more intransigent. This is deadly Kabuki theater.

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