(Thumbnail image: Chatta Box)

“For President Hamid Karzai, it was a humiliating moment. Standing there with U.S. Senator John Kerry and the foreign diplomats who’d been pressing him to back down.” (BBC)

After initially resisting, Hamid Karzai announced today he is succumbing to widespread demands and calling for a runoff election.

We’re tracking perspectives on the imminent runoff and what it may mean from Al Jazeera English, France 24, Deuteche Welle, The Daily Star and Russia Today.

We begin with Al Jazeera English, who talk to a UN representative who defends the voting oversight agency. He says rather than feel disappointed, the panel’s oversight should be considered a success.

“There’s no doubt that there was widespread fraud, but the complaint commission addressed that issue and came to the result it did which has now led us to the second round. That’s why I said the constitutional process and the institutions put in place, they worked the way the should.”

A France 24 analyst, however, says that with the UN replacing more than 200 of the original monitors, any future election’s results will invariably be questioned.

“These are people who – a spokesman for the United Nations said – were corrupt or incompetent. The IEC, Independent Election Commission, was complicit in lots of the fraud that happened in Afghanistan and most of that fraud was in favor of Hamid Karzai.”

But is the runoff really a good solution? Deutche Welle talks to an Afghan author who claims that regardless of the complications, the runoff is absolutely necessary to establish a legitimate government.

“It has to happen…Karzai would have no credibility and democracy itself would be discredited, if such a vote were simply allowed to stand.”

A writer for Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star brings in a contrasting perspective. He says a new election is still no guarantee for a legitimate government.

“A re-run appears therefore to be doubly flawed. Since Hamid Karzai is responsible…for the systemic failure on August 20, it is hard to see how he can be allowed to remain…Equally importantly, difficult logistics suggest that a large number of citizens will be unable to freely cast their votes.”

Finally, Russia Today talks to an analyst who says that despite the potential pitfalls, there is one big reason to go through with the elections, the other option is worse.

“The alternative is always either this process with all what it has in terms of problems and runoff and etcetera or the Taliban.

Is the runoff good for Afghanistan? Can the monitoring agencies be trusted to work effectively? We want to know what you think.

Election Runoff for Hamid Karzai

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Oct 22, 2009

Election Runoff for Hamid Karzai

(Thumbnail image: Chatta Box)

“For President Hamid Karzai, it was a humiliating moment. Standing there with U.S. Senator John Kerry and the foreign diplomats who’d been pressing him to back down.” (BBC)

After initially resisting, Hamid Karzai announced today he is succumbing to widespread demands and calling for a runoff election.

We’re tracking perspectives on the imminent runoff and what it may mean from Al Jazeera English, France 24, Deuteche Welle, The Daily Star and Russia Today.

We begin with Al Jazeera English, who talk to a UN representative who defends the voting oversight agency. He says rather than feel disappointed, the panel’s oversight should be considered a success.

“There’s no doubt that there was widespread fraud, but the complaint commission addressed that issue and came to the result it did which has now led us to the second round. That’s why I said the constitutional process and the institutions put in place, they worked the way the should.”

A France 24 analyst, however, says that with the UN replacing more than 200 of the original monitors, any future election’s results will invariably be questioned.

“These are people who – a spokesman for the United Nations said – were corrupt or incompetent. The IEC, Independent Election Commission, was complicit in lots of the fraud that happened in Afghanistan and most of that fraud was in favor of Hamid Karzai.”

But is the runoff really a good solution? Deutche Welle talks to an Afghan author who claims that regardless of the complications, the runoff is absolutely necessary to establish a legitimate government.

“It has to happen…Karzai would have no credibility and democracy itself would be discredited, if such a vote were simply allowed to stand.”

A writer for Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star brings in a contrasting perspective. He says a new election is still no guarantee for a legitimate government.

“A re-run appears therefore to be doubly flawed. Since Hamid Karzai is responsible…for the systemic failure on August 20, it is hard to see how he can be allowed to remain…Equally importantly, difficult logistics suggest that a large number of citizens will be unable to freely cast their votes.”

Finally, Russia Today talks to an analyst who says that despite the potential pitfalls, there is one big reason to go through with the elections, the other option is worse.

“The alternative is always either this process with all what it has in terms of problems and runoff and etcetera or the Taliban.

Is the runoff good for Afghanistan? Can the monitoring agencies be trusted to work effectively? We want to know what you think.

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