UPDATE: The second round has been confirmed and will take palce on November 7. Pres Karzai has called it a ‘step forward’ and Pres Obama has welcomed the news. Are you so positive?
Mark’s original post:
Hamid Karzai didn’t get enough valid votes to win the Afghan election.
His share of the vote drops below the 50 per cent mark and this means he could now face a run-off against his opponent Abdullah Abdullah. Dr. Abdullah’s party have expressed cautious optimism at the results and we could be looking at a power sharing arrangement between the two – but would this work? And what should happen now?
Well for starters, there won’t be any more US troops sent to the country until electoral reform.
That’s the right thing according to many bloggers. Tumeke asks what are we fighting for if we can’t even pull off fraud free elections after eight years? But American Lion points out that maybe we just don’t get “Afghan democracy”. Can Afghanistan ever be democratic in the Western sense? Here’s Malalai Joyawho’s take on what Afghan democracy looks like:
“Rather than democracy, what we have in Afghanistan are backroom deals among discredited warlords who are sworn enemies of democracy and justice.”
Many experts believe the only way out of this is an entire overhaul of the electoral process. “‘It’s in America’s interest to have the most legitimate Afghan government possible: Otherwise, for what are we fighting?”
Lots of comparisons being made to the US in Vietnam on the blogs too.
“The last thing the United States needs now is to be seen as an occupying force supporting an illegal government, as occurred in Vietnam. Afghan history shows that all foreign armies have left humiliated and, given the outlook, it is not unreasonable to fear that our troops could get bogged down in an unpopular war, as occurred in Southeast Asia.”
Maybe the presence of foreign troops is the problem?
If no serious crisis should go to waste, how do we get the best out of this one?