News Summary, Aug 14 2009
Latest Afghanistan election-related news, collated by Democracy International Kabul media team
Six days till polling day
Campaign poster, Kabul, from the Democracy International flickr feed
The New York Times carries a poll by the International Republican Institute which shows Karzai winning 44 percent, Abdullah Abdullah 26 percent, Ramazan Bashardost 10 percent and Ashraf Ghani 6 percent of the vote.
Allegations of money politics made in a piece by Jerome Starkey for The Evening Standard and by Abdul Latif Sahak of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. And a piece by Pajhwok on the role of the Electoral Media Commission.
Violence is driving some Afghans in the eastern province of Nangarhar away from ballots, according to the BBC’s Bilal Sarwary: Says one official, “The violence has generated a feeling of antipathy among the Afghans, driving some of the locals into the hands of the Taliban.”
The Guardian’s Jon Boone reports from Kandahar of “a series of secret ceasefire deals … agreed with Taliban commanders to ensure that voting can go ahead in Afghanistan's volatile south during next week's presidential elections. Under the deals, brokered by Ahmed Wali Karzai – the controversial brother and campaign manager of the president, Hamid Karzai – individual Taliban commanders will agree to pull back on election day and allow the Afghan army and police to secure the polling centres.”
The Daily Telegraph reports that the Taliban have claimed they were responsible for shooting dead Sitara Achakzai, a femaile provincial official in Kandahar known for fighting for women’s rights: “Achakzai, a dual German-Afghan citizen, spent the years of Taliban rule in Germany and returned to her native country to fight for women's rights, said Shahida Bibi, a member of the Kandahar women's association who worked with Achakzai.” Five campaign workers for Abdullah Abdullah have been released after being kidnapped on Wednesday, according to CNN.
Amnesty International reports on the difficulties facing journalists trying to cover the Afghanistan elections from both sides: “Taliban and other groups contact me and threaten me, telling me I must stop writing any positive news stories about the elections because they don’t want people to support the elections. I am caught between these two sides".”
This summary was produced by the Democracy International’s Kabul media team based on news articles related to the 2009 Afghanistan presidential elections. Democracy International does not confirm the accuracy or authenticity of reports cited in this summary, nor does it necessarily endorse or support any of the views expressed in reports cited.