Saturday, April 05, 2014

Afghan voters defy Taliban, casting ballots for new president on relatively peaceful day --- KABUL — They huddled in the rain under plastic sheeting. They ignored death threats and rattling firefights. After weeks of violence and tension, Afghan men and women turned out in larger numbers than expected Saturday to choose a new president to lead them into the post-American era in Afghanistan. -- Conducted under armed guard, the country’s third presidential election since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 unfolded without the large-scale attacks or major disruptions that many Afghans had feared. As the process now moves to a vote count that could take weeks and, potentially, to a second-round runoff, voters and observers expressed relief that the day had ended in relative peace. -- “The turnout was far beyond what we had imagined,” said Zia ul-Haq Amarkhail, a senior Afghan election official. --- The election brings Afghanistan a step closer to the first peaceful and democratic transfer of power in the modern history of the country, where presidents and kings more often leave dead or deposed. And for the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, the incoming leader will not be Hamid Karzai. Whoever takes over the presidential palace, however, will face a thriving Taliban insurgency, deeply ingrained government corruption and the need to negotiate a future relationship with the departing United States, which has propped up and paid for the Afghan government and its soldiers and police for a dozen years. - More, Joshua Partlow and Kevin Sieff, - More, Joshua Partlow and Kevin Sieff, Washingtonpost, at:


Post a Comment

<< Home