Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Afghan rival warns Karzai not to manipulate poll
Mon Mar 2, 2009 2:19pm EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Simon Denyer
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai is trying to outmaneuver his opponents by calling for an early presidential election and he must be prevented from using his position to manipulate the poll, a rival said on Monday.
"I will not participate in sham elections in April," former finance minister and presidential contender Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai said.
On Saturday, Karzai sprung a surprise by saying the poll should be brought forward to April from August 20, setting him at odds with his own election commission and with his Western backers, who see a meaningful early poll as almost impossible.
The call was seen as a ploy to show he respected a May 21 constitutional deadline to leave office, but at the same time force his opponents, none of whom are remotely ready to stand in April, to ask the president to stay on.
The election commission is expected to respond to Karzai's decree next week and repeat its position that holding polls before August is impractical, if not impossible.
A period of political turmoil may follow, analysts say, in which Karzai may have to make concessions to stay in power.
Ahmadzai said Karzai was already using the machinery of state to give himself an unfair advantage in the election, with ministers actively supporting his campaign.
Presidential hopeful Hedayat Amin Arsala, who is also a senior adviser to Karzai, echoed the comments.
"Every effort should be made so that the incumbent encourages the government, members of the government to help ensure the elections are clean and transparent," he said. "If anyone tries to play with these things it will bring about instability."
The United States has said it believes August would be a better time to hold an election in a secure environment.
U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan to try to secure the election in August against a powerful and growing Taliban insurgency. Bringing the poll forward would not give them time to arrive in the country.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid declined to take a position on the timing except to say it "must be resolved in a way that leads to credible and secure elections accepted by the voters."
TALIBAN OPPOSE "INFIDEL SYSTEM"
The Taliban has denounced the democratic process as an "infidel system," and a former senior Taliban official said the movement would try to prevent the election taking place in swathes of the east and south of the country under its control.
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, the former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, said ordinary people were already tiring of Western-style democracy, which had failed to bring peace. Continued...
View article on single page
Iran says US journalist worked illegally in country
Also On Reuters
Blog: Violence south of the border -- is worst to come?
Reuters Industry Summit: Travel & Leisure
iPhones and computers take fitness to heart
More International News
Donors pledge $4.48 billion to rebuild Gaza
Guinea-Bissau's president, army chief killed
Iraq plans census to map ethnic divisions
Cuban President Raul Castro shuffles government
North Korea holds rare DMZ meeting with U.N. forces
More International News...
NATO warns on security if Afghans vote early
Q+A: Afghan elections: April or August?
More must be done to protect Afghan civilians: ICRC
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
Doctor tells Venezuela's Chavez to stop talking
Rebellion on "Sarah Silverman" set
HSBC in $18 billion rights issue, retreats from U.S. | Video
Dow below 7,000 on AIG, bank concerns | Video
FACTBOX: Highlights of Warren Buffett's annual investors' letter
AIG has $61.7 billion loss, new U.S. aid may not be last
French farmer is new sun king
Buffett says economy in shambles
GM culture: a problem that cash can't fix?
Abu Dhabi reviewing Citigroup investment: sources
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Blair visits Gaza
India train crash kills and maims
Chinese bidder in relics row
Diplomats plan Gaza reconstruction
S. Korea protests against N.Korea
And Finally... Exerthighs.
Bangladesh soldiers back at base
U2 play surprise London rooftop show
HSBC to unveil $18 bln rights issue
Japan's mud festival
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
the great debate
Obama's foreign policy challenges
President Barack Obama’s toughest foreign-policy challenge will be in managing the sheer number of complex problems he’s inherited and their refusal to arrive in orderly fashion. Commentary
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.