Afghan elections 2009

(BBC) Afghanistan country profile ; (Government of Canada) Afghanistan elections 2009

Election officials give Karzai second term as Afghan president
Afghan election officials canceled the second round of a presidential vote slated for Saturday and declared incumbent Hamid Karzai the elected president. The move came after Karzai’s only challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from the vote over concerns widespread corruption and fraud that marked the first round in August would occur again. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the move, calling the troubled Afghan election process the “most difficult the [UN] has ever supported.” The Times (London) (11/2) , BBC (11/2)
1 November
Abdullah pulls out of Afghan vote
(BBC) President Hamid Karzai’s rival in the second round of the Afghan presidential election has announced in Kabul that he is withdrawing from the poll.
24 October
(Al Jazeera) Interview: Peter Galbraith
19 October
Afghanistan: Karzai vote at 48.3 percent
(UPI) An investigation of electoral fraud has reduced Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s vote total to 48.3 percent, election observers said Monday.
Karzai concedes runoff vote is likely

The government of incumbent Afghan President Hamid Karzai conceded a runoff vote against his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, is likely to happen — a scenario that could be triggered as the UN-backed electoral commission continues to discount fraudulent votes that gave Karzai a significant victory. Still a challenger looking to take the leadership from Karzai, Abdullah likely will be able to put off a decision about how to react to a Karzai victory, which could provoke violence between Abdullah’s Tajik supporters and Karzai’s Pashtun followers. The Washington Post (10/15) , The New York Times (10/15)
Galbraith speaks out on dismissal
Amid continued complaints of fraud in the presidential election of Afghanistan, the UN dismissed former Ambassador Peter Galbraith — the most senior U.S. official serving in the mission and a vocal critic of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Galbraith has charged UN Special Representative Kai Eide frustrated efforts that might have limited fraud and opposed recounting disputed votes or negating votes from so-called “ghost districts,” where no voters were reported. PBS/News Hour (10/1)
UN electoral commission orders vast Afghanistan recount
An order by a UN-backed electoral commission in Afghanistan to recount votes at 10% or more of the nation’s polls might reduce the lead by incumbent President Hamid Karzai such that a second-round runoff will be required. Karzai’s main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, praised the move but called for a wider recount. The New York Times (9/15) 
Partial Recount Ordered in Afghan Election
The United Nations-backed commission serving as the ultimate arbiter of the Afghan elections announced Tuesday that it had found “clear and convincing evidence of fraud” in a number of polling stations and ordered a partial recount even as election officials declared that President Hamid Karzai had won a majority of the vote.
Karzai ‘wins Afghan poll majority’
(Al Jazeera) Hamid Karzai has won 54.1 per cent of the vote in the race for the Afghan presidency – above the 50 per cent needed to avoid a run-off poll, partial results indicate.
The results, announced on Tuesday by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) with 91.6 per cent of polling stations tallied, gave Karzai’s main rival Abdullah Abdullah 28.3 per cent of the vote.
The announcement came hours after a separate watchdog, the Electoral Complaints Commission, said it had found evidence of fraud in the election.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Kabul, said: “If these results were to stand, that would mean this is all over – no second round and President Karzai is once again the president of Afghanistan.But things are not that simple.”
UN finds “clear and convincing” evidence of fraud at Afghan polls
Afghanistan’s Election Complaints Commission called for recounts in Ghazni, Paktika and Kandahar provinces after discovering “clear and convincing evidence of fraud” after the August presidential election. UN Special Representative Kai Eide urged poll officials to make sure the outcome of the election expresses the will of the nation’s voters. The latest results put Hamid Karzai within striking distance of the 50% of votes needed to avoid a run-off election. BBC (9/8)
24 August
Al Jazeera coverage of Afghanistan elections
21 August
Robert Fisk: Democracy will not bring freedom
It’s not just the stitched-up Karzai administration that will almost certainly return, nor the war criminals he employs (Abdul Rashid Dostum should be in the dock at The Hague for war crimes, not in Kabul), nor the corruption and the hideous human rights abuses, but the unassailable fact that ethnically-divided societies vote on ethnic lines.
Karzai election deal with warlord stuns observers
Feared Uzbek warlord Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum might deliver as many as 500,000 votes to incumbent President Hamid Karzai in today’s presidential election in Afghanistan. Karzai tapped Dostum, who commands great authority among Uzbek and Turkmen populations in Afghanistan, to bolster Karzai’s electoral prospects, fearing Taliban threats could undermine support and turnout among his Pashtun base. U.S. authorities and human-rights organizations were shocked by Karzai’s invitation to the powerful warlord. Karzai insists it’s simply a get-out-the-vote effort.
20 August
Afghan voting marred by violence that killed 26 and closed polling places
(CSM) About 11 percent fewer polling places opened than Afghanistan estimated it needed. Provinces expected to vote for President Hamid Karzai had the most problems. Could it tip the election?
Insurgents launched 135 attacks and killed 26 people across all regions of Afghanistan during Thursday’s presidential elections.
An election day, with its images of proud voters showing any ink-stained finger, can provide fragile democracies with a confidence boost. The violence here, however, drained much of that energy from the day.
But expectations had been so low for this election that Afghan officials still called it a win. Some analysts considered it a draw.
TIME (8/19) , Reuters (8/19)
Karzai and Warlords Mount Massive Vote Fraud Scheme
(IPS) – Afghanistan’s presidential election has long been viewed by U.S. officials as a key to conferring legitimacy on the Afghan government, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his powerful warlord allies have planned to commit large-scale electoral fraud that could have the opposite effect.
(Deutsche Welle) Overview of Afghan elections
Afghan voters will decide on a new president in a turbulent election
On August 20, Afghanistan holds its second presidential election since the ousting of the Taliban in 2001. Deutsche Welle answers some of the leading questions surrounding this important vote.
18 August
Now, brutal warlord holds key to Afghan poll
(The Economist)  Hamid Karzai seems poised for a victory few will cheer
17 August
(Al Jazeera) Helping Afghan women find a voice
Rights activists in Afghanistan are concerned that local media have focused on the high profile electoral campaigns of the candidates, particularly the top contenders, but sidelined women’s issues.
Hoping to push their agenda forward, a group of women activists from Kabul organised a loya jirga (grand assembly) to mobilise women’s votes and raise awareness of their rights. Bringing together activists from around the country, the jirga was designed to put women’s issues back on the agenda and to make sure that their voices are not ignored.
12 August
Taliban make definitive threats against Afghanistan elections
Taliban figures have increased their threats against Afghan civilians in advance of critical elections next week, saying they would sever any fingers marked by the indelible ink used to indicate votes. Taliban insurgents have not previously threatened to interfere with the election process. The Taliban campaign might threaten the authenticity of the election, which already is plagued by voter fraud and other more conventional troubles. The Independent (London) (8/13), The New York Times (8/12)
4 August
Fears of Fraud Cast Pall Over Afghan Election

Little more than three weeks before the presidential election, problems that include insecurity and fears of fraud are raising concerns about the credibility of the race, which President Obama has called the most important event in Afghanistan this year.
5 May
KARZAI DEFENDS HIS RECORD DURING WASHINGTON APPEARANCE
(Eurasianet) During a public appearance May 5, Karzai defended his administration’s record and offered a stout defense of his choice of a former warlord to be one of his running mates in Afghanistan’s August presidential election.
2 March
Ali Ahmad Jalali: The Candidate Of Afghanistan’s Educated Young
(HuffPost) Potential candidates have already been getting their kit ready for the campaign. One of the top contenders is Ali Ahmad Jalali, a former colonel in the Afghan army, currently living in Washington where he is a professor at the National Defense University. Although Jalali has lived outside of Afghanistan for many years, he did return home after the fall of the Taliban and took the job as interior minister in January 2003. It was his first opportunity for a public profile.
4 February [with 28 May updates]
Crisis looms over Afghan election
Amid opposition, Karzai finds himself at the center of what could become a constitutional crisis.
(Global Post) KABUL — Hamid Karzai’s days as president of Afghanistan appear to be numbered. But his behavior would indicate that somebody forgot to tell the man himself. Despite mounting opposition to his leadership — from the new Barack Obama administration, no less — Karzai is behaving like a politician still in contention for reelection to his long-suffering country’s highest office.
An election looms in August, called this week by the Independent Election Commission after months of wrangling.

One Comment on "Afghan elections 2009"

  1. Stephanie November 3, 2009 at 9:16 am · Reply

    It will be interesting to see if the Obama administration does regarding the US’s relationship with Afghanistan after this election. It’s a supposedly well known fact that the VP doesn’t really like Karzai.. and a big question everyone is asking is whether Obama will send more troops to Afghanistan. http://www.newsy.com/videos/karzai_s_triumph_puts_u_s_on_the_spot

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