Karzai May Co-Opt Some Opponents

With a comfortable lead in the vote count so far, the interim president starts thinking about forming his next government.

Karzai May Co-Opt Some Opponents

With a comfortable lead in the vote count so far, the interim president starts thinking about forming his next government.

If interim President Hamed Karzai takes the presidency, which he seems well on his way to doing, he may invite some of his defeated opponents to join his new government, his campaign spokesman said this week.


And if the incumbent were to lose the vote, he would still like to join the new government, said Hamid Elmi, Karzai's electoral office spokesman.


"If any other candidate wins the election, we also want to take part in the next government," he said, adding he was confident Karzai woul win.


As of October 22, vote tallies pointed to a Karzai victory. With 6.2 million votes counted, an estimated 75 per cent of the total number cast, Karzai had 3.3 million or 54.4 per cent of the vote.


Mohammad Younis Qanuni has 17.5 per cent, with 1.1 million votes, putting him a distant second. Abdul Rashid Dostum was next with 11 per cent, and Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq had 10.2 per cent.


Panghar Noorani, editor of the Rozgaran weekly and a political analyst, said Karzai should select people based on their qualifications and not as representatives of groups.


"But some candidates like Qanuni, Mohaqiq and Dostum, do not want to join Karzai as individuals,” said Noorani.


Sayed Hossain Alami Balkhi, a vice-presidential candidate who ran with Qanuni, agreed that his camp probably would take part in the next government.


"If the election result becomes clear and transparent, we will be helping the government whether the president invites us or not," said Balkhi. But if cases of alleged fraud are not dealt with properly, then candidates may reconsider their position, he said.


Mubariz, a spokesman for Mohaqiq, said his candidate was of the same mind. "We will cooperate with the president if those things that placed the elections in jeopardy are addressed," he said.


Political analyst Mohammad Musa Marofi said candidates should be free to support or oppose the next president, but they should not hinder him in working for the good of the nation.


Lailuma Sadid is a reporter with IWPR's Pajhwok Afghan News.


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