Opinion: Runoff A Must in Afghan Presidential Vote!

October 16, 2009

(ChattahBox) — With the top commanding officer in Afghanistan Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal previously revealing a belief that “rampant government corruption” has given the Taliban and al-Qaeda an edge in the war, it’s time for action not words.  Afghanistan is now considering holding a runoff election to decide the country’s new president, according to new reports attributed to Afghan and Western officials. They really have no choice if they want to change perceptions. The presidential election in Afghanistan was tainted by allegations of widespread fraud by independent election observers. Fraud investigations discovered that 1.1 million ‘questionable votes’ were given to President Hamid Karzai, and that the subtraction of these votes was enough to push Karzai below 50 percent.   Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission will now subtract from the total count the votes they deem ‘officially disqualified’ this weekend.  If enough votes are rejected, there will be a runoff.  If not Karzai’s victory could enrage Dr. Abdullah’s supporters, trigger protests and further undermine the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s government in the eyes of the citizens.  To me this is not a simple math decision.  If widespread corruption has been determined, then a runoff is mandatory because the results are otherwise tainted!


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