Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

ISRAELI STRIKE TAKES OUT GAZA POWER STATION AND ZHOU FALLS FROM GRACE

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

  • Deadly shelling strikes Gaza UN school

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Europe launches last resupply ship to space station

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Abdullah makes run-off announcement

Video by Shirli SITBON , Mariam Pirzadeh

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-11-01

Abdullah Abdullah is set to reveal whether he will run in next weekend's Afghan presidential election run-off after incumbent Hamid Karzai snubbed a series of demands laid down by his challenger.

AFP - Abdullah Abdullah is to announce Sunday whether he will run in next weekend's Afghan presidential election run-off after the incumbent Hamid Karzai snubbed a series of demands laid down by his challenger.
  
Abdullah, a former foreign minister, is due to reveal his decision at a meeting of supporters at around 09:30 am (0500 GMT) amid expectations he will either call a boycott of the November 7 ballot or that he has reached some form of power-sharing agreement with his rival.
  
Following widespread fraud in the August first round, Abdullah had demanded Karzai sack the head of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Azizullah Ludin and suspend four ministers who campaigned for the incumbent.
  
Abdullah's camp had set a deadline of Saturday for Karzai to bow to his demands and supporters say that he will not take part in a contest that will not be free and fair.
  
But the demands have so far received short shrift, with the IEC saying Ludin can only be dismissed by the supreme court while Karzai says Abdullah has no right to interfere in ministerial positions.
  
Asked what Abdullah's stance would be if his conditions were not met, a lawmaker involved in his campaign said the candidate would not take part in the run-off.
  
"If our conditions are not met and an election takes place on November 7, that will not be an election but a fraud trap and we will not go for a fraud trap, we will not participate," Ahmad Bezad told AFP.
  
The New York Times website reported late Saturday that Abdullah had already decided to withdraw, citing Western diplomats in Kabul and people close to Abdullah.
  
The newspaper quoted unnamed aides saying Abdullah was yet to decide whether to publicly denounce Karzai or to step down without a fight.
  
But a senior official in Abdullah's campaign team told AFP: "He has not made a decision, not yet. Tomorrow (Sunday) he will come out with a statement. It will be clear tomorrow."
  
A boycott of the poll would plunge Afghanistan into further uncertainty with the country in political limbo since the first round of voting on August 20, which was tainted by widespread vote-rigging.
  
Karzai's share of the vote in the first round fell to 49.67 percent after a UN-backed watchdog deemed around a quarter of all votes cast to be fraudulent.
  
Insistent that the fraud had been overstated, Karzai only agreed to a run-off under extensive diplomatic pressure from Washington, highlighted when he made the run-off announcement standing alongside top US Senator John Kerry.
  
Asked whether the outcome of a run-off with only one candidate would result in a legitimate government, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said such situations are "not unprecedented."
  
"We see that happen in our own country where, for whatever combination of reasons, one of the candidates decides not to go forward. I don't think it has anything to do with the legitimacy of the election," she said.
  
"I'm not going to comment on what any of the candidates might decide to do," Clinton said, adding: "It's a personal choice which may or may not be made."
  
Abdullah won just over 30 percent in the first round and has a mountain to climb if he is to overhaul Karzai in the run-off.
  
As well as fears over fraud, the build-up to next Saturday's election is taking place against the backdrop of a raging Taliban insurgency.
  
The Islamists, whose ouster in late 2001 by a US-led coalition led to Karzai's coming to power, have promised to intensify their attacks in the wake of a deadly assault last week on a UN guesthouse.

Date created : 2009-11-01

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Karzai dismisses opposition calls to sack election official

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban to boycott Afghan poll, threaten more violence

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Poll body under scrutiny to avoid repeat flaws in run-off

    Read more

COMMENT(S)