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Ford, The Private Option Of The Auto Industry, Posts Quarterly Profit | Main | Gallup: Democratic Edge on Generic Ballot at Perilous 2%
November 02, 2009

Afghanistan Calls Off Runoff Election, Declares Karzai Winner

Not much else to do once the other candidate drops out.

Election officials declared Afghan President Hamid Karzai the winner of a new five-year term Monday, canceling a runoff election scheduled for Saturday just one day after Karzai's sole challenger quit the race. The decision ended weeks of political drift since a first presidential poll in August was found invalid because of massive fraud.

In the capital, a sense of relief was instant and palpable. Kabul residents honked horns and exchanged celebratory text messages as the news spread. American, European and U.N. officials rushed to congratulate Karzai and pledged to work closely with his new administration.

...Within two hours of the announcement, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement saying, "We congratulate President Karzai on his victory in this historic election and look forward to working with him, his new administration, the Afghan people and our partners in the international community to support Afghanistan's progress toward institution reforms, security and prosperity."

U.S. officials said privately that Karzai would clearly have won the runoff, and they maintained that Abdullah's voluntary withdrawal made it unnecessary to hold a new poll that would have exposed voters to the risk of attack by Taliban insurgents. Even after hundreds of thousands of votes were discarded as fraudulent in the August poll, Karzai won more than 49 percent to Abdullah's 30 percent.

That's got to be an Obama record for throwing someone or something under the bus. It wasn't all that long ago the Sen. John Kerry was hailed as a hero for getting Karzai to agree to the runoff. The second round of voting was deemed important to the legitimacy of the Karzai government and any effort to support it.

Now? Not so much.

It's almost as if this was just another stalling tactic by Obama to avoid dealing with Gen. McChrystal's troop request.


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posted by DrewM. at 12:27 PM

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