News / Asia

    Karzai Accepts US-Mediated Election Deal as 'Bitter Pill'

    VOA Pashto host Shaista Sadat conducts an exclusive interview with President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, July 14, 2014.
    VOA Pashto host Shaista Sadat conducts an exclusive interview with President Hamid Karzai at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, July 14, 2014.
    Aru Pande

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he has reluctantly accepted a U.S.-mediated deal to audit all the votes from the country's presidential runoff election, following allegations of fraud during the voting process.

    In an exclusive interview with VOA's Afghan Service, President Karzai said he did not welcome the agreement, but accepted it as a "bitter pill" due to the current political conditions in Afghanistan.

    "I accepted it because I wanted to get past this stage very quickly because the elections have already taken a lot of time in this country.  No country in the world has such a lengthy electoral process and this must be corrected as well.  The Afghan people are waiting, very much, very impatiently, to have their new president," said Karzai.

    Tensions were high in the country after presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, both claimed victory in the June 14 runoff to replace Karzai.

    Former Afghan foreign minister Abdullah dismissed the runoff results that put Ghani ahead by one million votes as tainted with irregularities.  He accused Ghani, election authorities and President Karzai of colluding against him to rig the vote.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Kabul and held hours of intense negotiations with Ghani and Abdullah on July 12, and both candidates agreed to a U.N.-supervised audit of the eight million ballots.

    According to the deal, the new president will immediately form a government of national unity.  A senior U.S. official said whatever the outcome of the election audit, the candidate who does not emerge as winner will play a formal role in the new Afghan government.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai Interviewed by Voice of Americai
    X
    July 15, 2014 9:03 PM
    In an exclusive interview with VOA, Afghan President Hamid Karzai called a U.S.-mediated deal to audit all the votes from the country's presidential runoff election "bitter pill" due to the current political conditions in Afghanistan. Here is the full English interview conducted by VOA Pashto host Shaista Sadat.
    Watch the full interview

    President Karzai says he welcomed the idea of a national unity government, saying all Afghan people should see themselves in their government.  But he was more cautious about reports the candidates agreed to create a parliamentary democracy.

    "In order for Afghanistan to have a parliamentary form of government, we must, before that, make sure we have strong institutions, the civil service of the country must be totally apolitical and protected by law," he said.

    Karzai said institutions like the military and judiciary should also be protected from political intervention.  He said Afghanistan still needs time to strengthen these institutions in order to move from a presidential to parliamentary system.

    As Afghanistan undergoes this transition and his decade in office nears its end, Karzai says that whatever the outcome, he will stand firmly behind the next leader of Afghanistan.

    "If ever the next Afghan president or the next government would ask me for advice, I would humbly come and provide that advice.  I will be trying my best to be a factor of help, assistance and stability," said Karzai.

    And when VOA asked if Karzai could go back and change one aspect of his presidency, he declined to reveal the "massive change" he would make, noting that he is still president of Afghanistan and must choose his words cautiously.

    Read the full transcript of the interview here.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora