Saturday, July 25, 2009
About a month ago it was being said that Karzai would probably win the upcoming elections in August but that there were two other possible serious contenders, and today's article here in the New York Times seems to suggest that the field has pretty much been narrowed down to two, and that former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah (a very easy name to remember BTW) is gaining in popularity and may even win the elections...but with a very big caveat that nobody is really capable of making any predictions in Afghanistan electionwise.
Since I don't know as much about Afghan politics as I should take this with a big grain of salt, but I would prefer to see Abdullah win the election. First because after eight years of Karzai and little progress (plus even Karzai's brother being linked to opium smuggling) it may be time for a change, and the signal it would send to Iran (assuming it's still the way it is now with protests and an ineffectual government doing all it can just to stay in power) would be very interesting. It would be a big slap to the face of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad if it turned out that Afghanistan was better at conducting fair elections than Iran.
We still have almost a month to wait though (August 20th is election day), so the situation both in Afghanistan and Iran could be completely different by the time election day comes around.