As the world awaits the results of an investigation into allegations of fraud during Afghanistan’s presidential election – the two main candidates are said to be engaged in power-sharing talks.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner is in Kabul to offer his support. He is there, he says, to deliver a message of confidence in the sense of responsibilty of the two men vying for the presidential post.
Pressure’s been mounting on incumbent President Hamid Karzai to respect the imminent findings of a fraud investigation that seem likely to trigger a run-off vote, but it has now emerged that the only other contender, Abdullah Abdullah, may be prepared to compromise by instead accepting a role in government.
The August poll was marred by charges of ballot-stuffing and voter coercion in Karzai’s favour.
The fraud allegations have done nothing to improve
the image of the country’s politicians.
Fierce fighting in Helmand has resulted in many civilian fatalities and in Ghazni province the deaths of a woman and a young girl during a firefight between militants and coalition forces have only served to harden anti-government feelings.
People in the village where the shooting took place, shouted: “Death to Karzai,” in an impromptu demonstration. “We are not going to vote for any candidate,” they said.