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Kabul Diary - 22 August 2009

Amanullah Ghilzai

*Amanullah Ghilzai is Managing Editor of VOA Pashto Afghan service
Day 8 in Afghanistan

22 August
- Saturday is the first day of the week in Afghanistan and also the holly Muslim month of Ramadan started in the country today but the excitement of the election is not over yet. Every body is waiting for the election results, expected to be announced within few days. There have been rival claims of victory but no winner has been announced yet though there has been a general sense in the capital Kabul that Hamid Karzai is the winner.  

Today a leading group of election observers said that in some parts of the country widespread voting fraud has been reported but the vote was generally good and fair. Now, the main question is what would be the reaction of Abdullah Abdullah if Hamid Karzai wins in the polls. Some analysts had already expressed fears that if Mr. Abdullah  doesn’t accept the results and resorts to protests there are chances that some unwanted elements may exploit the situation to their benefit and create chaos in some parts of the country. 

To ask this crucial question, we invited Mr. Abdullah Abdullah to how live shows in Pashto and Dari in Kabul today. Shaista Sadat, our Pashto anchor asked this crucial question to which Mr. Abdullah answered.” My goal is to serve the people of Afghanistan and I don’t care if I am in the opposition or in the government.” This was a clear cut indication that Mr. Abdullah Abdullah would accept the results even if he is not the winner. 

Other leading candidates h ave also promised that they would not incite street protests if they lose in the election. Earlier there were widespread reports in Kabul this morning that Taliban have cut off the fingers of some voters in Kandahar. 

Later on, the news was confirmed by the chairman of Free and Free Election Foundation of Afghanistan FIFA Mr. Nadir Nadiri in Kabul. Mr. Nadiri said that some observers from his foundation saw two voters in Kandahar whose fingers, with the ink were cut off. This may be for the first time in the history of the world that voters have lost fingers for voting in a democratic election as a punishment.

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