Posted by: Christian | November 1, 2009

Dr. Abdullah’s election exit

So, unless this is a desperate bargaining tactic, Abdullah has pulled out of the runoff election. BBC says:

Abdullah Abdullah had set out conditions he wanted to be met for the contest to be considered fair. But Mr Karzai rejected his demand that election officials who presided over the first round should be dismissed.

Earlier, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a pull-out would not invalidate the legitimacy of the vote.

Well, that’s wishful thinking on the part of Secretary Clinton. After the first round, there was no way that this process was going to have much legitimacy.

As for Abdullah, the withdrawal from the run off election is probably the “smart move” on his part. Why accept a coalition or power sharing offer in a hyper-centralized state where you could ( and would) be easily be marginalized? And why contest a second round if you will just lose to the same machine?

Abdullah out and about:

It’s now a permanent situation of coalition governments and their forces having an Afghan government with an clear lack of popular international and domestic legitimacy as a partner. What was once a refrain from the anti-war crowd is now reality: the presidency lacks legitimacy (through a lengthy process of deligitimization that has peaked most recently today). But they’re still wrong that Karzai is a puppet. How many times now has Karzai gone against the wishes of his “masters?” Clearly, this “disobedient puppet” has strings that leads back to himself. I bet the US government wishes he actually was a puppet.

More on Abdullah’s runoff election boycott at WaPO.


  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/02/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  2. Out of curiosity, exactly how important were the elections to the general Afghan public? Unless the press has decided it isn’t an interesting story, the response from the citizenry appears to be mute.


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