Wednesday, March 24, 2004

FROM THE AFGHAN RUMOR MILL... Top-officials of the Northern Alliance have been meeting to decide on a candidate to challenge Hamid Karzai in the elections planned for later this year. They don't seem to agree. The Tajik leadership is bitterly divided which increases the chances of a Karzai win. In addition to that, if his current vice-presidents (Mohammad Qasim Fahim , a Tajik, and Karim Khalili, a Hazara) are on Karzai's ticket, it could ease the risk of Karzai, a Pashtun, being seen as partisan.

Candidates named in the mentioned talks: Burhanuddin Rabbani, Abdur Rasur Sayyaf, Yunis Qanuni and Ismail Khan. One man who won't be challeging Karzai: current defense minister Fahim. He is apparently planning to run as Karzai's deputy ("and thereby defying ethnic custom!"). Smart move, that.

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