ARTICLE: Afghan Leader Said to Accept Runoff After Election Audit, By SABRINA TAVERNISE and HELENE COOPER, New York Times, October 19, 2009
I believe in the notion of a coalition government in lieu of a runoff election. Karzai is all but a figurehead as it is, so make Abdullah the working leader and move forward. Recalling my Esquire column on the election, prior to the vote the U.S. was floating the idea of having the third candidate, Ghani, step in afterward as a sort of COO to Karzai's president. This strikes me as a similar compromise with the candidate (Abdullah) who scored the substantial second-place vote.
And that beats some election that doesn't yield a gov until after the new year.
I hear the date of 7 Nov for the new vote, but it's likely to yield a muddled result, with Karzai coming down and Abdullah coming up, but with no clear winner and no vote count that anyone trusts.
So better to share power, especially since U.S. senators say a settled government is a prerequisite for their support to any Obama decision to increase troop numbers.
(Via WPR Media Roundup)