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Would It Be Worse For Karzai to Steal the Election on the First Vote, or Go to Runoff?

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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:24 PM
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Would It Be Worse For Karzai to Steal the Election on the First Vote, or Go to Runoff?
The Afghanistan elections are over, the ballots have been counted. The results have been delayed and will be made known on Tuesday. If the count shows Karzai with more than 50% of the vote after the first round, then fraud and vote-rigging will be obvious. It would be a brazen theft of an election. It would also further destabilize the country.

If no candidate reaches the 50% threshold, the runoff vote will be in October and possibly create ethnic divisions between the Pastuns(Hamid Karzai) and the Tajiks(Abdullah Abdullah). This could also further destabilize the country.

This is the gamble with pushing for democratic elections before a country is stable. If battles for political power reach the street, US forces will be put in the untenable position of 'choosing a side'. Afghan forces will be largely loyal to Karzai. Whether he has to depend on them to retain power is to be seen. What would the US/NATO forces do?

Sadly, this could be the calm before the storm.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:25 PM
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1. Marking,
OP didn't show up in 'MY DU'.
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FarCenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:51 PM
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2. Electoral legitimacy only matters outside Afghanistan
Inside, the ethnic divisions already exist. Karzai had done some deal-making before the election. He brough back Dostum, who encouraged his Uzbek followers to vote for Karzai. He had also made nice to Ismail Kahn, the chief warlord of Herat.

So Karzai's legitimacy within Afghanistan will depend more on the alliances he can make with the principle leaders of the ethnic groups than on any aspect of the election.
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