After Abdullah Abdullah’s withdrawal, some say the Afghan run-off poll should be cancelled, to spare the country further political pain and insurgent violence. However the Karzai camp is resolute.
The President’s spokesman Waheed Omar said: “While we commend Dr Abdullah for being very brave, for having run a very good campaign, for having been a very good contender in the elections, we believe it is very unfortunate he has withdrawn his name from the second round, but, all that said, we believe that the elections have to go on, the process has to complete itself, the people of Afghanistan have to be given the right to vote.” But, now that the opposition candidate has withdrawn, some see little merit in a second round. “If he is not going to participate, then the election loses its legitimacy” said one man in Kabul. “Karzai will not be legitimate and the people will not accept him.” “Abdullah has the right not to participate in the second round of the election because those who were behind the fraud in the first round were not brought to justice,” another man added. Afghanistan has been racked by weeks of political uncertainty, with security also a major concern after the Taliban vowed to disrupt the run-off vote on November 7.