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And, yes, I DO take it personally: It looks like a runoff...
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It looks like a runoff...


still no official announcement from either the afghan iec or karzai's office...

from the uk guardian

Fears of an impasse rose when an Afghan body packed with Karzai's appointees, the Independent Election Commission (IEC), said yesterday that it, not the ECC, had the right to decide whether to hold a run-off.

Kerry, who had been in Kabul over the weekend to press the case with Karzai, flew back to the Afghan capital yesterday for a final round of talks.

At a late meeting last night at the presidential palace, attended by Kerry as well as the British and French ambassadors and the UN special representative, Kai Eide, a deal was struck whereby Karzai will be lauded by other world leaders as a "statesman", even though many observers in Kabul say he has no other choice.

Karzai's recent threats not to accept the results of the official investigation by the ECC, which found that almost one in every three of his votes was fraudulent, has shocked his western allies who believe he has engaged in dangerous brinkmanship.

A senior diplomatic source said Karzai had been talked round by ultimatums from world leaders, including Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, Gordon Brown and Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general who made clear that if he did not back down he would "be working outside the constitution and would no longer be a partner of the west".

Only two members of Karzai's cabinet voted to reject the deal.

so far today, kabul has been quiet, altho' we're still on red alert... stay tuned...

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