Afghan President Hamid Karzai got an “explosive” talking-to by U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, according to the BBC. The meeting, which reportedly covered vote fraud and the possibility of a second election, didn’t last very long.
The Beeb reports that the dust-up took place a day after the election.
You may remember Holbrooke less for his concerns about election integrity and more for his hawkish approach to foreign affairs. His appointment to spearhead diplomacy in the region was an early sign that the Obama administration was thinking in terms of force.
There have been widespread allegations of fraud in Afghanistan’s recent election, and it remains to be seen whether the U.S. plans to do anything about it other than chastise the country’s leader.
Is America even after free and fair elections? As William Pfaff noted in a column a week ago, “The problem with U.S.-sponsored elections in Asia and elsewhere in the non-Western world, as in Afghanistan on Thursday, is that they are sponsored by the United States primarily to legitimize its own presence in the country.” —PS
The meeting was described as “explosive” and “a dramatic bust-up”.
Mr Holbrooke is said to have twice raised the idea of holding a second round run-off because of concerns about the voting process.
He is believed to have complained about the use of fraud and ballot stuffing by some members of the president’s campaign team, as well as other candidates.
Mr Karzai reacted very angrily and the meeting ended shortly afterwards, the sources said.
USMC / Staff Sgt. William Greeson
Afghan poll workers organize ballots in Helmand province.