Afghanistan Weighs Second Gov't Election

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A day after Afghanistan's incumbent President Hamid Karzai agreed to a run-off election, there is concern whether the nation can logistically pull off another round of elections.
On the subject of U.S. support for the mission, there is new evidence that Americans are not convinced that they have a stake in Afghanistan's future.

Trying to arrange another nationwide vote in less than three weeks is a huge logistical challenge considering Afghanistan's position in the middle of a brutal Taliban insurgency, and winter soon arriving.

On the streets of Kabul, there are mixed reactions about holding a second run-off.

"I will not participate in the second round," said Kabul resident Merza Mohammad. "First of all, I don't have the time. Secondly, there is no security. So why should I participate again?"

Yet some residents feel differently.

"We have to participate in the second round so we can select a president to serve the country," said Ahmed Massod.

President Hamid Karzai's main rival Dr. Abdullah Abdullah says he is up for the challenge again. But he warns there are no guarantees that holding another vote will result in a free and fair election.

"We need to have measures in place in order to prevent the same thing from repetition," Abdullah said.

The election debacle has given the Obama administration some breathing room before deciding whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. 

Some lawmakers are warning that waiting to see who wins the election is not a reason for delay.

"The longer we delay in sending the necessary additional troops, the longer it will be that our troops are unnecessarily in danger, in my view," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

But a war-weary public has not been convinced yet that America has interests that are worth defending in Afghanistan and that sending more troops will help defend those interests.

A new ABC News / Washington Post poll showed 47 percent said the war has not been worth fighting. And on the question of sending more troops to the region: 47 percent say yes, while 49 percent say no. 

And 63 percent think the president lacks a clear plan for dealing with the situation in Afghanistan.

For now, the White House is hoping that a second round of elections slated for Nov. 7 will produce an Afghan government that will be seen as legitimate both inside and outside the country.

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George Thomas

George Thomas

CBN News Sr. Reporter

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