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Afghan elections update – results rejected, threats of “parallel governments”

July 8, 2014

Summary: Situation gloomy and opaque – preliminary election results put Ghani ahead.  Abdullah disputes this and is hinting at setting up a “parallel” government.abdullah and ghani

Wall Street Journal, 8th July: Afghanistan’s political crisis came close to a meltdown Tuesday, with candidate Abdullah Abdullah —who lost the country’s presidential election, according to preliminary results—claiming victory and contemplating the formation of his own government amid demonstrations in Kabul.In a speech in Kabul, Mr. Abdullah struck a defiant tone and said he wouldn’t reach a compromise with his rival, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.

Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah shout slogans during a gathering in Kabul

Abdullah supporters claim victory, 8th July

Nothing is looking encouraging at the moment.  Yesterday some initial results – final results are currently scheduled for 22nd July – put Ashraf Ghani ahead with 56.4% against Dr Abdullah Abdullah with 43.6%.  Both sides are claiming victory, however.  Yesterday there were were several clear suggestions that Abdullah is contemplating setting up his own “parallel government”, whatever that means at the moment.  US Seretary of State John Kerry has warned against “extra-legal” attempts to seize power.

Daily Telegraph, 8th July: Supporters of Abdullah Abdullah, the Afghan presidential candidate, have rejected preliminary results of the presidential election as a “coup” and say he will announce plans for his own national government on Tuesday.  The move came as John Kerry, American Secretary of State, warned against either side trying to seize power.

John_Kerry_Ukraine_Reuters_360Wall Street Journal, 8th July: John Kerry: “Any action to take power by extralegal means will cost Afghanistan the financial and security support of the United States and the international community,”

It is very difficult to understand whether talk of “parallel government” is merely another form of escalating the argument (and hopefully the international community rallies round to help resolve issues) or what it might mean in reality.  But it really does raise a shadow of civil war and even some form of north/south split.  The Taliban must be loving this, having denounced the electoral process as a fake but having been demonstrably unable to prevent it taken place.  They will be looking to exploit this in-fighting.  Expect to see more of this sort of chaos in the coming days and weeks:

czech flagFox News, 8 July: A suicide bomber struck Afghan and foreign forces near a clinic in the eastern province of Parwan, killing at least 16 people, including four Czech soldiers.

and this:

Oil tankers ablaze, July 2014The Guardian, 6th July: Taliban insurgents have set fire to about 200 oil tanker lorries supplying fuel for Nato forces in an attack just outside Kabul, police said.  Television footage showed black smoke billowing above the site of the attack, with the charred wreckage of dozens of trucks scattered around a vast parking space.  The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the vehciles carried fuel intended for US-led forces.

Update to update:  Sigh.  Gary Owen does this much better.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2014 9:45 am

    Thanks for the shoutout! Much appreciated!

  2. July 9, 2014 10:07 am

    Thanks yourself. I got out of the habit of checking on your work – great to see the “snark” is very much intact 🙂

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