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Chief Rival Bows Out of Afghan Runoff

Afghanistan’s political drama hit another bump Sunday when Abdullah Abdullah, President Hamid Karzai’s main rival in the Nov. 7 runoff election, bowed out of the race. An aide said Abdullah dropped out because the “odds are illegally stacked against him.” — JCL

The Guardian:

Abdullah Abdullah announced today that he would not participate in Afghanistan’s runoff election next week, claiming it would result in widespread fraud.

To cheers from thousands of supporters in Kabul, Abdullah said he had not taken lightly his decision, which is likely to prolong the political crisis in the country.

“We will not take part, because of the wrongdoing of the Independent Election Commission and the abuse of power by the government,” Abdullah told his supporters.

His running mate, Homayoun Shah Assefy, said: “We are no longer a candidate and we wish Mr Karzai luck.”

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