Kabul Diary - 23 August 2009

Amanullah Ghilzai

*Amanullah Ghilzai is Managing Editor of VOA Pashto Afghan service
Day 9 in Afghanistan

23 August
- Many Afghans were expecting that the Election commission would announce the preliminary results today but the target date for announcing the official results may be delayed amid allegations of complaints of voting fraud and bullying. The head of the Independent Election Commission, Daud Ali Najafi told journalists in Kabul today that preliminary results from some provinces will be announced tomorrow on Tuesday.

Until yesterday there was general sense in the city that Karzai is the winner. After the delay in announcing the preliminary results many supporters of Abdullah Abdullah seemed more confident that their leader may be the winner. The whole city looked joyous today as supporters of the two leading candidates were claiming victory.

I went to the Afghan Parliament and met some analysts today and talked to them about the prevailing situation in the country after the reports of electoral fraud. Almost all the analysts expressed their fears that long delay in announcing the results may create doubts and according to some, it could lead to the Iran-like agitation in Kabul and other some cities of the country. The Election Commission said today that they have received 225 reports of voting fraud, which they have to investigate and it looks like that most of these have be adjudicated before full results of the election can be announced. Surprisingly, the Electoral Complaints Commission announced today that two weeks were not enough to investigate more than 200 electoral complaints which could mean the announcement of the results could take several weeks.

In the meantime, the tone of the main challenger to Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, seemed a little changed today after he alleged that widespread fraud has happened on the polling day. Mr. Abdullah was addressing a press conference in Kabul today during which he said that he had evidence that voting had been widely rigged in favor of the incumbent President Hamid Karzai. His mood was different today compared to the one yesterday.  During a live interview with the VOA’s Ashna Television yesterday afternoon, Mr. Abdullah gave a clear cut indication that he would not resort to political agitation if loses in the election. But today Mr. Abdullah’s tone seemed a bit harsh when he alleged that widespread fraud has happened on the polling day. At this point it is very hard to predict as what would be the reaction of Mr. Abdullah if he is the loser.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs