Sunday, September 21, 2014

Afghan Election Results to be Announced Sunday

The final results of the Afghan presidential election will be announced on Sunday, September 21, 2014. The contest between Ghani and Abdullah has been lengthy and bitter. Supports of Abdullah have staged numerous protests in Kabul and in northern Afghanistan protesting the massive fraud that took place during the runoff election in June 2014. The inauguration of the new president has been delayed at least twice. The support of the international community is at stake - and will likely diminish significantly if the Bilateral Security Agreement is not signed. The proposed follow-on mission to Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) is called Resolute Support; but that may not even happen if the Afghans can't get their act back on track. The winner of the election will likely be Ghani; although at this point it is hard to really determine who is the true winner. Most observers say that if you throw out the substantial number of fraudulent votes Ghani still comes out ahead based on the voting that occurred along ethnic lines. Ghani (a Pashtun) received most of the Pashtun and Uzbek votes. One of his two running mates (vice-presidents) was Dostum - an Uzbek. Abdullah garnered the Tajik and Harzara vote. Abdullah is mixed Tajik and Pashtun although he comes from the Northern Alliance political world. One of his running mates is Hazara.

The big question is: did Abdullah receive enough concessions for power-sharing in the "unity government" to be satisfied with the outcome? If so, he will make it known to his supporters that the "struggle" is over and to support the power-sharing arrangements with the Ghani administration. Hopefully all will go smoothly, the inauguration will take place within days, the biggest Afghan crook in history (Karzai) will fade off to Dubai where he banked his millions of dollars, the Bilateral Security Agreement will be signed, the international community will continue to pump billions of dollars into the Afghan government coffers (and some of it will actually be used for running the government), and the U.S., NATO and other countries will provide the 14,000 plus troops to continue the Security Force Assistance mission - to be called Resolute Support after December 31, 2014.

We shall see . . .

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