Afghan challenger drops out of election

Afghan challenger drops

November 1, 2009 10:33


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Afghan presidential challenger Abdullah Abdullah announced Sunday he would not participate in next weekend's runoff election but stopped short of calling on his supporters to boycott the balloting. Abdullah also said the Afghan people should not accept results of an election from the current election commission and told supporters President Hamid Karzai's government had not been legitimate since its mandate expired last May. He made no mention of agreeing to take part in any future unity government with Karzai, which the U.S. and its international partners believe is the best hope for curbing the Taliban insurgency. Abdullah denounced the Karzai-appointed election commission for fraud in the first round ballot Aug. 20 and said his proposals for changes in the electoral body had all been rejected. "I will not participate in the November 7 election," he said, because a "transparent election is not possible."

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