By Julissa Treviño
There has been a lot of speculation and suspicion about corruption and illegitimacy surrounding the re-election of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. President Karzai was automatically given a second term Sunday, after his opponent, Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, dropped out of the race just six days before the run-off election. The Nov. 7 election was set “after UN-backed auditors annulled nearly a third of the Karzai’s votes as fakes,” according to The Huffington Post. “In an emotional speech, Abdullah told supporters that he could not accept an runoff led by the same Karzai-appointed election commission that managed the fraud-marred vote in August.” A transparent election, Abdullah said, is not possible.
On Monday, President Obama congratulated Afghan President Hamid Karzai on his re-election last Tuesday. “Mr. Obama told reporters as he sat in the Oval Office next to the prime minister of Sweden, ‘You know, although the process was messy, I’m pleased to say that the final outcome was determined in accordance with Afghan law,'” according to an ABC News blog. After pressure from Western governments, DemocracyNow! reports that the newly re-elected president “has vowed to form an inclusive government and has promised to work harder to root out corruption. Karzai today also called on the Taliban to stop fighting against the Afghan government and to ’embrace their land.’ The Taliban said in a statement it would continue its fight and called Karzai ‘a puppet.'”
Recent news on the war in Afghanistan:
At least 883 U.S. military members have died in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan since 2001.
Kim Howells, chairman of the intelligence and security committee and former minister in the UK, writes an article in The Guardian suggesting the withdrawl of UK troops from Afghanistan.
Opposing the continuation of the war in Afghanistan, former Marine captain and State Department employee resigns from the administration. “In a four-page letter he sent to the State Department, he explained his resignation by writing that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan serves to ‘bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by [the Afghan] people,'” writes a blogger from Think Progress.
Read more about the news in Afghanistan:
Julissa Treviño is a senior Writing major and co-editor of Upfront. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.