'We will not risk our lives to vote again': Karzai's allies
Angered and disillusioned by Afghanistan's election chaos, many tribal leaders who supported President Hamid Karzai say they would not risk their lives again by taking part in a new vote.world Updated: Oct 14, 2009 13:00 IST
Angered and disillusioned by Afghanistan's election chaos, many tribal leaders who supported President Hamid Karzai say they would not risk their lives again by taking part in a new vote.
Fraud, the time taken to declare a winner and the government's inability to provide security have demoralised Pashtun tribal leaders in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand who form the backbone of Karzai's support.
Afghans voted nearly two months ago but no result has yet been declared.
"If there is a second round we will not participate," Sadruddin Khan, a tribal elder in Kandahar told AFP.
"It is not worth it to us to once again face the possibility of having our fingers and heads chopped off, and our police and soldiers die. Neither Karzai nor Abdullah are worth the lives of our children."
Taliban violence -- including grenade attacks on polling stations and amputations of fingers dyed as proof of voting --kept turnout to below 40 per cent nationally and as low as five per cent in Helmand and Kandahar.
Karzai, who says estimates that 30 per cent of votes were fraudulent were "totally fabricated", leads preliminary results with around 55 per cent of the vote. He needs 50 per cent plus one vote for victory.