11:40 am

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
OP-ED: Afghanistan’s moment of reckoning
August 28, 2014, 05:00 AM The New York Times

Afghanistan faces ever deepening security and political crises. As American troops withdraw, Taliban military advances are threatening entire districts, and government coffers are dwindling.

NATO leaders are scheduled to hold a summit meeting next week that is supposed to reaffirm the alliance’s commitment to keep supporting Afghanistan’s security forces, which, like the rest of the government, are heavily dependent on international aid. It will be very hard to justify continued assistance if Afghan politicians are unable to form a government with a new president in Kabul.

Yet, Afghanistan’s rival presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are putting the country’s stability at risk in refusing to agree on a winner two months after the disputed election to replace President Hamid Karzai. And the emboldened Taliban is taking advantage of the political chaos.

Although Karzai’s successor was supposed to have been sworn in on Monday, the country’s Independent Election Commission still has not completed a United Nations-supervised audit of 8.1 million disputed ballots. Abdullah won the first-round voting in April, but Ghani came out ahead in a preliminary count after the final round in June, prompting Abdullah to accuse Ghani and Karzai of colluding to rig the vote.

While Ghani and Karzai have denied the charges, few doubt there was substantial fraud. On Sunday, The Times’s Carlotta Gall reported that interviews with Afghan and international officials support some of Abdullah’s most serious claims, including ballot-box stuffing and a campaign by government officials to manipulate the outcome.

The Americans gave the candidates a way to ease the sting of defeat by brokering a deal that would have the rival camps create a national unity government. Under this plan, which both candidates accepted, the winner would become president and the loser, or his designee, would fill a new post of chief executive. But the powers and duties of that new job are also still in dispute.

A new, stable government is also important to the United States.

The best available solution is for Abdullah and Ghani to cooperate fully with the ballot audit, accept the results (which were never going to be fraud-free, given the immaturity of the democratic system) and quickly form a functioning government that reflects the country’s diversity. If they manage to do that, there might be some hope that they could, in time, restore voter trust and put Afghanistan on the path to a real democracy.



Tags: government, abdullah, ghani, candidates, president, which,

Other stories from today:

OP-ED: Afghanistan’s moment of reckoning
An open letter to TSA
Letter: AK-47 shooting death in Arizona

Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
Do you support the Common Core curriculum in public schools?

Yes, it's great
I think so
Too soon to tell
Not at all
Portions of it


Tobacco firms get partial win over claims on smoking effects
WASHINGTON — America's largest tobacco companies must inform consumers that cigarettes were design..
Islamic State loyalists claim Saudi mosque attack
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — A suicide bomber killed at least 19 people Friday in a blast inside a Shiit..
Clinton got now-classified Benghazi info on private email
WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private ..
Obama's Senate allies hope to endorse his trade bill Friday
WASHINGTON — Supporters of President Barack Obama's trade agenda hope to fend off hostile Senate a..
More >>  
©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County notice to administer estate