Afghanistan Commisssion Declares Karzai the Winner

Abdullah quit the runoff election, so there wasn’t much choice.

Afghanistan’s election commission proclaimed President Hamid Karzai the victor of the country’s tumultuous ballot Monday, canceling a planned runoff and ending a political crisis two and a half months after a fraud-marred first round.

The Obama administration — which has been waiting for a government deemed legitimate to emerge in Kabul before announcing whether to deploy tens of thousands more troops — quickly commended the ruling.

……The cancellation of Saturday’s vote came one day after former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah announced he was pulling out of the Nov. 7 vote. Abdullah said the ballot would not have been fair and accused the Karzai-appointed Independent Election Commission of bias.

The annulment is a huge relief to organizers who were scrambling to hold the election before the onset of Afghanistan’s harsh winter, as well as to authorities who feared a wave of bloody violence on polling day after a Taliban spokesman threatened attacks against anyone who took part.

Well, at least that settles the issue of who’s going to be Afghan president. Afghanistan has made gains toward building a stable government, but it has a long way to go before it’s strong enough to fend off Taliban scum and work out the differences between the numerous ethnic groups.

Now, we’ll see how long it takes President Punchdrunk to make a decision on whether or not to commit the troops General McCrystal asked for and finish the job.

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