Jul 09 2014

Afghanistan Faces Multiple Challenges, Electorally and On the Ground

Sixteen people were killed including children, foreign soldiers, and Afghan police in a suicide bombing in an Afghan province North of Kabul on Tuesday. The bombing happened near a school at a time when US soldiers were handing out school supplies to students. It is not known if any US soldiers were killed.

The bombing comes at a time when political tensions are high. A run-off presidential election between the top two vote getters, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, is the latest focus of turmoil. While Ghani, a former World Bank official, apparently garnered the majority of votes, his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, who served as Foreign Affairs Minister, rejects the results. Preliminary results from the Afghanistan Election Commission put Ghani at a tally of 56.44% of the votes.

In a major rally attracting thousands of his supporters, Abdullah said, “we denounce and do not accept the results of the fraudulent vote.” His supporters have urged him to form a parallel government, to which the US State Department reacted swiftly with threats of cutting off financial aid. Afghanistan’s government depends heavily on foreign aid.

GUEST: Anand Gopal, journalist who has been covering Afghanistan for many years, served as an Afghanistan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and The Christian Science Monitor, and has reported on the Middle East and South Asia for Harper’s, The Nation, The New Republic,Foreign Policy, and other publications. He is currently a fellow at the New America Foundation and his new book is called No Good Men Among the Living, which was a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

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