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Karzai Agrees to Delay Afghanistan's Presidential Election

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brooklynite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:35 PM
Original message
Karzai Agrees to Delay Afghanistan's Presidential Election
Source: Washington Post

KABUL, March 7 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that he would agree to postpone the presidential election until August, bowing to pressure from election officials and Afghanistan's international backers who do not believe that fair and safe polls can be held by spring as scheduled.

But the president left unclear what should happen after his term expires in May. He declined to clarify whether he would seek to remain in power until the election and whether he would seek reelection after seven years in power. The Associated Press is reporting that Karzai has suggested he remain in power for the months leading up to the August vote.

In accepting the date proposed by the independent election commission, Karzai appeared to resolve a dispute that has thrown Afghanistan's political transition into turmoil and raised doubts about the stability of this fragile, insurgent-plagued democracy.

But the president's confusing comments about whether he plans to continue leading the country until August, and whether he intends to be a candidate at all, left unresolved a second issue that could turn preparations for a smooth and orderly transfer of power into a political free-for-all.


Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...



Nice to see the Bush Administration left a solid foundation for Democracy...
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Dictator for life?
That's how bushco thugs work.


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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
2. If I was Karzai, I'd be thinking about my next gig.
As no doubt he is.
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Arctic Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. I thinking we don't have another lakey lined up yet.
Why else would he postpone and give sideways answers.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-08-09 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm confused because of differences between this and story a week ago...
when he was still pushing for April. It's unclear which is the greater advantage to him, or which is fairer.

From March 1st:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=aNF...
Quote:

Karzai Orders Afghanistan’s Presidential Vote Held by April 21




By James Rupert

March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai put himself at odds with his nation’s election commission by ordering presidential elections held by April 21 instead of the Aug. 20 date set by the voting authority. A decree yesterday from Karzai, 51, would advance the vote by at least four months from the August date fixed by the Independent Election Commission in January. While the Afghan constitution calls for a date that would fall in March or April, the election panel declared that “most parts of Afghanistan are inaccessible due to harsh weather” in those months and that “fairness and transparency would be out of the question.”

Karzai’s decree ordered elections “according to the constitution,” which says the vote should be held 30 to 60 days before his term ends on May 21, presidential spokesman Siamak Herawi said by telephone from Kabul. Karzai, who has faced criticism from the U.S. over alleged corruption in his government in the final months of his five- year term, will have a domestic political battle over the date, said Shukriya Barakzai, a member of parliament. Karzai’s rivals “say he is trying to move the date earlier to catch them unprepared,” she said by telephone from Kabul.

‘Widespread Corruption’

“Karzai will have to negotiate a solution with the election commission and the parliament,” said Barakzai. While the commission holds the legal authority to set the election date, its position is weakened “because it does violate the letter of the constitution,” said Barakzai.

Barakzai, an independent member of parliament, is best known as a women’s rights activist from Kabul, who has at times backed or opposed different policies of Karzai. She was a member of the committee that drafted the Afghan constitution in 2003.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. "bowing to pressure from election officials and Afghanistan's international backers" Does that help
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-09-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. From the earlier article: "put himself at odds with his nation’s election commission"
and the apparent women's leadership also wants the delay. Who put together the election commission, for example? The parliament? The president? The international backers?

How the hell can we tell from here which leader means what s/he says, and what's kabuki? There's talk of Karzai taking over in the May-August delay period, an option that would presumably favor his victory in August, or: Who else thinks they're going to run things during that time? A caretaker government, in the middle of a war? The international backers, flat out? That would be a prescription for more uprising, I would think. Or perhaps the delay will serve to pacify some warlords or factions I don't know, who really do legitimately want more time to organize the election.

So I'm not even sure the driving actors themselves understand what they want or what's going to happen. Very hard to tell. Is anyone more familiar with the internal politics?
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