Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#CecilTheLion : Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Erdogan’s gamble: Turkey launches offensives on PKK and Islamic State Group (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Europe’s shame: Calais migrant crisis deepens (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The River Seine, the lifeblood of the French capital

Read more

FOCUS

Remote learning brings hope to Brazil’s rural poor

Read more

ENCORE!

'The Little Prince', from the book to the screen

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Indian execution like a 'Hollywood courtroom drama'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A new player in Syria's war

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Secular bloggers live in fear after spate of killings

Read more

Asia-pacific

One candidate run-off vote likely to take place despite Abdullah's withdrawal

Video by Siobhán SILKE

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-11-01

Election officials say that according to the Afghan constitution the November 7 vote should take place despite the withdrawal of opposition candidate Abdullah Abdullah, leaving incumbent Hamid Karzai as the only candidate.

Presidential challenger Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday pulled out of Afghanistan's run-off election, plunging the war-torn country into fresh political turmoil less than a week before the scheduled contest.

After President Hamid Karzai snubbed a series of measures put forward by Abdullah in a bid to avoid a repeat of the massive first-round fraud, Abdullah said he saw no point in standing in the second round, but stopped short of calling for a boycott.

Election officials said the November 7 vote would go ahead with both names on the ballot but with Karzai the only candidate.

"Based on election laws and based on the constitution there should be a second round. The constitution is clear," Daoud Ali Najafi, chief electoral officer of the government-appointed Independent Election Commission (IEC), told Reuters.

But a spokesman for U.N. mission chief Kai Eide voiced doubt about the practicality of carrying on with the election. "It's difficult to see how there can be a run-off with only one candidate," said spokesman Aleem Siddique.
 

Karzai's camp said it regretted the move but insisted the contest should go ahead, although analysts said the incumbent risked losing his legitimacy further with turnout likely to be well below the 38 percent recorded last time. Karzai's spokesman also ruled out a coalition with Abdullah, dashing hopes that a power-sharing government could be a way out of the impasse.

The Taliban, the Islamist militia behind a rising insurgency, said it intended to carry out new attacks if the election does take place as scheduled on November 7.

"The decision which I am going to announce was not an easy one. It was a decision that I have taken after wide-ranging consultations, with the people of Afghanistan, my supporters and influential leaders," Abdullah told supporters gathered in a giant tent used for grand assemblies. His voice faltered and his eyes filled with tears as he announced the news.

"In protest against the misconduct of the government and the Independent Election Commission (IEC), I will not participate in the election," he added in an address in Kabul. "I have strong, strong reservations about the credibility of the process", he later told reporters.

During a lengthy speech, the former foreign minister launched a scathing attack on the "eight years of lost opportunities" during Karzai's rule.
 

Date created : 2009-11-01

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Abdullah withdraws from run-off vote

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Karzai dismisses opposition calls to sack election official

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban to boycott Afghan poll, threaten more violence

    Read more

COMMENT(S)