DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY “B”
This article is part of an ongoing series of dispatches from Moon of Alabama
But a conflict over the presidential election in Afghanistan now threatens to blow up the whole process.
Some people in Kabul always disliked Trump’s plan as they were not included in it:
In a clear sign of internal rift, Afghan government’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on Monday criticized official handling of the peace process with the Taliban.
Chairing a meeting of the ministers at his office, Abdullah stressed all political parties and groups should be involved in the proposed negotiation team.
“Peace is not one person’s monopoly, one person’s wish — but it is a collective desire, and the people of Afghanistan have the right to take a position regarding the peace process,” Tolo News, a local broadcaster, quoted Abdullah as saying.
Today the Afghan election commission announced the final election results and declared President Ashraf Ghani as winner. Abdullah is, like in 2014, not happy with this and now threatens to install a parallel government:
Afghan presidential election challenger Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday contested final results that declared incumbent President Ashraf Ghani the winner of a September presidential poll, vowing to form a parallel government.
“Our team, based on clean and biometric votes, is the victor and we declare our victory. The fraudsters are the shame of history and we announce our inclusive government,” Abdullah said at a press conference in Kabul.
Earlier on Tuesday, Afghan election officials said final results showed he had won 39.52 percent of last September’s vote while Ghani had taken 50.64 percent, above the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid another run-off.
The delay left Afghanistan facing a political crisis just as the US seeks a deal with the Taliban that would allow it to withdraw troops in return for various security guarantees and a promise that the militants would hold peace talks with the Afghan government.
Abdullah lost to Ghani in 2014 in a divisive election that saw the US intervene to broker an awkward power-sharing deal between the two rivals.
Abdullah (yellow) is the ‘Northern Alliance’ representative. His voters are mostly Tajik, Uzbeks and Hazara while Pashtun voters are favoring Ghani (red).
Source – AAN – bigger
Less than 20% of the registered voters took part in election on September 28 2019. The whole process and the preliminary results were marred with irregularities. The announcement of final results was shifted again and again. As of February 8 there were still many open questions:
The turnout figure of 2,695,890 that was given after the election day is now down to 1,824,401 voters in the preliminary results. This means the electoral commissions have so far ruled almost 30 per cent of the turnout figure invalid. With this, the turnout figure dropped from 28 to 19 per cent of the registered voters.
The remaining question is whether the [Electoral Complaints Commission’s] (ECC) decisions for more special audits (of the 137,630 ‘suspicious’ votes and the 102,012 ‘out of time’ votes) as well as another recount (of 298 polling stations) and another audit plus recount (of more than 300 polling stations) will lead to the invalidation of any of these categories of votes. It is important to watch how these audits and recounts will be carried out as well as how the [Independent Election Commission] (IEC) and the ECC will coordinate with each other and with the electoral campaigns. Finally, given Ghani’s narrow margin over the 50 per cent threshold after the preliminary results, any single ruling could potentially change the outcome of the election, and decide whether there will be a run-off or not.
While the ‘final’ election results were announced today no explanations were given of how the above problems were solved.
With two persons declaring themselves president of Afghanistan the Trump administration now has a problem.
Alarmed over the situation the U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad rushed to Kabul together withthe head of Pakistan’s military spy service ISI. They and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan went immediately to Abdullah’s headquarter.
Threats will be made and many millions of dollars will be offered. But Abdullah will not give in. His voters and followers want to see him fighting. He will most likely demand a run-off election to stall any further process. Ghani will of course oppose that.
One wonders who in the Trump administration dropped the ball on this issue. Who allowed the final election result to be announced today?
TOLOnews @TOLOnews – 16:09 UTC · Feb 18, 2020
Breaking – Abdullah announces the formation of an “inclusive government.”
The whole election drama could and should have been fixed before it happened.
Abdullah may well think of splitting the north, west and the central Hazara region of Afghanistan from the mainly Pashtun south and east. It would be difficult fight but Afghan’s norther neighbors as well as Russia and China may well support him. They see the U.S. incompetence in Afghanistan and the negotiations with the Taliban as a danger to their countries.
Posted by b on February 18, 2020 at 19:36 UTC | Permalink
^5000The arch-hypocritical corporate media are our worst enemies.
They shamelessly block truth, peace, equality, and true democracy.
They are shills for those who murder the environment with impunity.
It's time you embrace YOUR media, the citizens' press.
Be sure to support the Greanville Post. If not you, who will?
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