United States tried to oust Hamid Karzai in 2009 polls

US tried to oust Karzai in 2009 polls

Sat, 11 Jan 2014 18:39:09 GMT

Former head of Afghanistan Independent Election Commission Secretariat, Daud Ali Najafi, says the US tried to oust President Hamid Karzai from office by manipulating the outcome of 2009 elections.

Najafi told a news conference in Kabul that former US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, sought to prevent President Karzai from winning the elections.

The revelation comes after former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in a recent memoir that a top US diplomat supported Karzai’s rivals in the crucial poll.

Gates also said the 2009 election was “ugly” and that, though the president was “tainted,” “our hands were dirty as well.”

Karzai has repeatedly warned against the US meddling in Afghanistan’s upcoming presidential election, stressing that the presence of foreigners in the country’s election watchdog is against the country’s sovereignty. Two people of the five-member Electoral Complaints Commission in Afghanistan are non-Afghan.

“The presence of foreigners in the Electoral Complaints Commission is against the sovereignty of Afghanistan,” Karzai said in October 2012, adding, “Foreign observers can still come to monitor the transparency or non-transparency of the election, but their interference in the election process is against Afghanistan’s sovereignty.”

The upcoming vote is scheduled to be held on April 5, 2014, months before the expected withdrawal of the US-led foreign forces from the war-ravaged country.

Some analysts are calling the landmark election a litmus test for democracy after 12 years of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan.

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