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Pressure on Karzai to accept poll result

[ 2009-10-19 12:44]     字号 [] [] []  
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KABUL: Global pressure mounted on President Hamid Karzai yesterday to accept a possible runoff in Afghanistan's disputed election as extended diplomacy delayed the announcement of official results from the August poll.

The row stemming from the election, marred by allegations of mass fraud, is a setback for the United States as President Barack Obama considers whether to send more troops to Afghanistan to fight a resurgent Taliban.

Diplomats and observers said Karzai's supporters resisted accepting the findings of an inquiry by the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) into poll fraud - a key factor behind delays in announcing the outcome.

"They are putting up resistance," said one official familiar with the discussions. "Legally, it is difficult to see on what grounds they can reject any of the findings."

Under Afghan law, Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission has to accept ECC probe findings, adjust the election tally and announce the final result.

As talks proceeded, observers said pressure was mounting on Karzai to agree to face his main challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, in a second round, or form a power-sharing government.

In first public remarks suggesting that the talks were making at least limited progress, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the two were ready to "work together".

"They talked, both of them, about the necessity of working together," he told reporters in Kabul after speaking, separately, with Karzai and Abdullah. "Honestly, this is the minimum they could do."

The Afghan leader has made clear he would prefer not to fight a second round and has spoken out against the investigation, making veiled accusations of foreign meddling.

Global leaders have spoken to Karzai over the past two days, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A host of high profile visitors have been in Kabul over the weekend, including Kouchner and US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry.

(英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Pressure on Karzai to accept poll result

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Pressure on Karzai to accept poll result

Casey Chin is an intern at the China Daily's website. When he's not shooting or producing videos he's trying to learn Chinese. He's from Sacramento, California (no he doesn't know Arnold Schwarzenegger) and he just graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in journalism.