If Afghanistan has a runoff election, how does that affect President Barack Obama’s decisions on a new Afghan strategy? Will it speed up his decision-making or hamper it?
The U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission is close to a verdict in its investigation of Afghanistan’s August presidential election that has been marred by allegations of widespread fraud.
The Washington Post reports that a runoff is expected, citing officials familiar with the results as saying the investigation had already cut incumbent President Hamid Karzai’s vote tally to about 47 percent.
That would trigger a second election vote, pitting Karzai against his main rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.
If the vote were held within weeks, as many experts suggest, then would Obama wait it out or just make an announcement regardless of Afghanistan’s electoral timetable? But if bad weather and other considerations force a runoff in the spring, then Obama would have to make a decision sooner.