Karzai opponent set to boycott presidential election re-run

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Kabul, Oct.31 (ANI): Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's political opponent and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah is expected to decide whether to withdraw from, or boycott, a presidential election run-off next Saturday.

According to The Times, Abdullah is meeting his main allies in Kabul today and tomorrow to discuss his options after failing to strike a power-sharing deal with Karzai in talks this week.

Sources were quoted as saying that it seemed increasingly unlikely that Dr Abdullah would stand in the run-off, because his staff were not even campaigning, and that without a power-sharing deal he was more likely to boycott in anger than withdraw gracefully.He wants to make a deal as he doesn't think the second round will be any cleaner than the first," one source close to Dr Abdullah told The Times.

Dr Abdullah's decision will govern whether Afghanistan's presidential election can finally produce some sort of legitimate result after the debacle of the first round, in which a quarter of all votes were found to be fraudulent.

It will also dictate to a large extent whether President Obama decides in the next few days that he has a credible enough partner to send more troops to Afghanistan as part of a new counter-insurgency strategy. (ANI)

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