Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Afghan Elections

With about 17 percent of the vote in, the electoral commission has released an unofficial tally--with Karzai leading at 45 percent (but not over the 50 percent barrier to avoid a run-off) and Abdullah at 31 percent.

Let's assume--and keeping in mind that it is a very fluid count plus there are thousands of fraud allegations--that this pattern holds.

Would voters who didn't vote for Karzai in round one cast ballots for him in the run-off, or is Abdullah the beneficiary?

If Abdullah wins, what does this do for U.S. strategy? Further stabilize the north but hinder efforts to gain support among Pashtuns against the Taliban?

Like Bosnia, Afghanistan is a country where one group forms a clear plurality but where this plurality cannot dominate the entire country. If you have a "minority" president and a northern dominated government, does this act as a shot in the arm for the Taliban revival in the guise of protecting the Pashtuns?

Just some speculation.

Good speculation, it will be interesting what happens. It will be more interesting if it doesn't go to a runoff.
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