Afghanistan's Election Isn't Over
The dust storm of controversy surrounding the recent release of U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and the nature of his initial capture, has seemingly obscured one of the most important and imminent events impacting U.S. national security interests: the June 14 runoff election in Afghanistan. While it seems that many national media outlets have forgotten about the second-round vote, the June 6 assassination attempt on Abdullah Abdullah, one of the two remaining candidates, is a morbid reminder that the election is far from over.
The head-to-head contest between the front-runner, Abdullah, a former foreign minister, and Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister, will result in the first democratic handover of power in Afghanistan's history. Despite both candidates trading fraud and manipulation accusations, Abdullah, who enjoyed a 13-point lead in the April poll results, remains the odds on favorite for Saturday's vote. Both Abdullah and Ghani continue to feverishly campaign, and any shifts in support have not been systematically identified, considering the United States cancelled its funding for opinion polling in January in an effort to avoid any perception of impartiality.
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