Abdullah Pulls out of Afghan Election

Dr. Abdullah at the Pentagon in 2004

by Adam Wilson

President Hamid Karzai’s opposition Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has pulled out of the current Afghan presidential election.

Abdullah claims the decision was made for the betterment of the Afghan people. Abdullah said that ‘a transparent election was not possible’ in a press conference on November 1st. Abdullah was referring to a recent investigation by the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission, which was looking into claims that hundreds of votes had been ignored in the first round of voting in August. The ECC received 2,000 complaints of ‘fraud and intimidation’

Abdullah claimed he wanted to unite a nation which has been torn apart by political corruption is recent history.

Even with Abdullah out of the election, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has stated in a press briefing ‘I don’t think there is any doubt that Dr. Abdullah will play a role, it’s quite clear, going forward in Afghanistan.’ The US is clearly confident that Abdullah will still contribute to the democratic development of Afghanistan.

To back up Washington’s view, many believe that a power-deal between Karzai and Abdullah may be considered in the future. Due to diplomatic pressure on Karzai to state his stance on a power-sharing deal he has said ‘there is no place for a coalition government in the law’. However, in his first speech after being declared President, Karzai has seemed to review his stance on the subject. He stated that he was open to anyone who wanted to work with him.