What They Said

IWPR provides snapshot of what leading candidates, diplomats and commentators have been saying about the Afghan poll.

What They Said

IWPR provides snapshot of what leading candidates, diplomats and commentators have been saying about the Afghan poll.

Friday, 21 August, 2009

"Reconciliation [with the Taleban] is important, but not now. It’s not going to happen until the insurgency is weaker and the government is stronger."
Western diplomat in Kabul, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
NY Times, August 18.

"Afghans are really good at politics. They may be poor, and literacy may be low, but politics is in their blood."
Richard C. Holbrooke, special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, during a recent visit to Kabul.
NY Times, August 18.

"It's a challenge, an enormous challenge. We expect thousands of complaints and allegations by Election Day. You do your best given the circumstances."
Grant Kippen, a Canadian national leading the Electoral Complaints Commission in Afghanistan.
WSJ, August 13.

"We call on the mujahedin of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to close all the roads going to villages and cities one day ahead of the elections. We will not let anybody travel. If anyone is brave or foolhardy enough to try to participate in the elections, the [Taleban] will not hesitate to take action."
Taleban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmady.
Telegraph, August 15.

"The candidate with the most money has the best chance of getting support from tribal elders and community leaders."
Jandad Spin Ghar, director of Afghanistan's Free and Fair Elections Foundation.
Scotsman, August 14.

"Everyone tells me that I speak too openly, that it creates a risk for me. But if we are afraid and sit at home, then we can do nothing for women's rights."
Zaiba Habib Durrani, a surgeon and a provincial council candidate.
McClatchy Newspapers, August 11.

"Even if there are a hundred explosions, we will go out and cast our votes."
Incumbent president Hamid Karzai.
AP, August 13.

"Everyone has the right to be a candidate, but Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world and having this many candidates is a bit of a joke."
Sayed Massoud, an economics professor at Kabul University, speaking about the 41 presidential candidates.
NY Times, August 18.

"Ninety nine per cent of Afghans are unhappy. This is my big chance. Absolutely, there is a change taking place in the old Afghan politics."
Presidential candidate Ramazan Bashardost. 
Times, August 12.

"The big question is how is this country going to be held together afterwards. Whichever candidate wins, it's pretty desperate."
Anonymous western diplomat.
Scotsman, August 14.

"The support and the backing the community has given to President Karzai has not been because of deal making – this kind of enthusiasm and love that you see cannot be bought."
Syed Mansoor Nadiri, the spiritual leader in Afghanistan of the Ismailis.
Guardian.co.uk, August 10.

"The election is neither going to be free nor fair. This is the fifth most corrupt government on earth, it has done everything to prevent a free and fair election."
Presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. 
The National, August 10.

Pakistan, Afghanistan
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