IN THE PAPERS
The Washington Post reports that President Hamid Karzai’s portion of the vote in the recent election has been reduced to 47%. If confirmed, this would trigger a runoff between him and his closest competitor.
Hamid Karzai’s re-election as Afghan President might be hanging in the balance, according to a report in the Washington Post this morning. After claims that the election was largely rigged, a review was ordered by the U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission. One official called the result "stunning” - it allegedly reduces Karzai's share of the vote to 47%. Confirmation of the result is expected later today. Preliminary results by Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission had given Karzai 54.6 percent of the Aug. 20 vote.
“The findings have major implications for the Obama administration's ongoing deliberations over Afghanistan war strategy and could eventually help remove the cloud of illegitimacy hanging over its partner government there,” the paper notes.
Other stories covered in today’s international press review
Terrorism in Pakistan:
The Wall Street Journal
“No so ‘smart power’”
Controversy of allegations that the Italian Secret Service paid off Taliban leaders in Afghanistan:
Corriere della Serra
“Prime Minister’s office denounces the Times claims saying we ‘never paid Taliban groups’”
“Italians bribed the Taleban all over Afghanistan, say officials”
Diego Maradona criticized in Argentina for explosive and rude remarks
“Argentina: Maradona shame”
“I don’t have to apologise”