If your country went through an outrageously corrupt election that was exposed by an “impartial” governing body, you’d think as president you’d have the balls to sack the chief of your electoral commission, especially after agreeing to a run-off election with your main opponent.
Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai apparently has no balls. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah called on Karzai to fire the head of the election commission for his inability to ensure a fair democratic election in August’s vote. Karzai rejected the call by Abdullah, obviously, because they are rivals.
But why did it even have to be demanded? Ideally, the man would have been sacked just after the U.N.-backed panel discovered and exposed widespread electoral fraud and ballot box stuffing. The whole Independent Election Commission in Afghanistan should see a major overhaul, but Karzai claims doing this just before a run-off would upset the order of things.
“The changes would not be helpful to the elections and the country,” he said, BBC reports.
Abdullah claims the IEC is full of rampant Karzai supporters. While that may be true, so is the rest of the world. Obama, Sarkozy, Brown, Kerry and even Ban ki-Moon have praised Karzai for accepting a run-off election. For doing basically what is required of a democratic president. That praise is not really necessary and just reinforces the fact that Karzai is a western-backed leader of a nation whose own people consistently questioning his governing ability.
Both leaders have also denounced the possibility of a joint government. I saw that reported as a possibility in some places and I couldn’t believe some saw it as a viable option.
The run-off is set to take place on November 7. I think we can predict the outcome.
Check back tomorrow for the second episode of Blast’s new podcast Your World in Focus, narrated by me. Also, take a listen to the first if you missed it. It’s about this very election.