Abdullah Abdullah leads in Afghan (early) vote

After 500,000 (10%) votes have been tallied, Abdullah Abdullah (42%) is in the lead, closely followed by Dr Ashraf Ghani (38%). A run-off will take place if no candidate crosses 50% (likely).

Incidentally (and interestingly) AA is Pashtun (father) and Tajik (mother). Is this a hopeful sign (of national integration) or will the Pashtuns still find reasons to reject him (more Pashtuns favor Ghani)?

“Today we announce the partial results of
26 provinces with 10 per cent of votes counted, these include
(provinces) in the north, south, east, west and Kabul,” said Ahmad
Yousuf Nuristani, the IEC chief. “With 500,000 votes from 26
provinces Dr Abdullah is leading with 41.9 per cent; Dr Ashraf Ghani has
37.6 per cent and is in second; and Zalmai Rassoul has 9.8 per cent in
third position.”

the eight provinces for which results have not been announced, two are
in the north (Badakhshan and Baghlan) and two in the east (Nuristan and
Paktika). The others are Daykundi in the centre, southern Ghazni and
Wardak and the western province of Ghor.

Abdullah, who was born to an ethnic Pashtun father and a Tajik mother, is more associated with the northern Tajiks….an ophthalmologist by
training, came second in the 2009 election to current President Hamid
Karzai, in a vote that was internationally denounced as fraudulent.

He was a resistance fighter against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s
and was a close friend and adviser to Ahmad Shah Massoud, a revered
Tajik leader who fought the Taliban during their 1996-2001 rule and was
assassinated two days before the September 11, 2011 attacks on the
United States.

Ghani is a former World Bank economist and
globally renowned intellectual, who has shed some of his wonkish image
during his current campaign and is more favoured by the country’s
majority Pashtuns.

Former physician Zalmai Rassoul, another Pashtun, was seen as Karzai’s favourite — a charge which he denied.

All three pre-election favorites have pledged to protect women’s
rights, reach out for a peace deal with the Taliban and sign a bilateral
security pact with the United States that would allow at least 10,000
troops to stay for the next ten years.


Brown Pundits