Afghanistan: Update. The Independent Election Commission posted the final results of the first round of the presidential election. The top two candidates are Dr. Abdullah, who received 45% of the votes and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai who received 31.56%.
The Commission indicated that 7 million people voted, or about 58% of the registered voters.
Comment: An analysis of provincial results shows Afghanistan remains strongly polarized, based on tribal allegiances, which also means region. That judgment should surprise no one.
Dr. Abdullah, a Tajik with Pashtun blood, won an outright majority in 15 provinces, all but one of them in the Tajik and Uzbek north and in the Hazara regions of central Afghanistan. In the south he won by a cleear majority only in Ghazni Province.
Ashraf Ghani won nine provinces outright; seven of them are in the Pashtun region of the south. However, two other Pashtun candidates prevented him from making a stronger showing. The Pashtuns remain fractured and fractious so that their most appealing candidate came in a distant second. They have a second chance in the run-off election, but the Taliban spring offensive will help ensure they will not win the presidency.
The northern tribes have not forgiven the Pashtuns for the brutality and repressive policies of the Taliban. The results announced today confirm tthat attitude remains strong and was manifest in the voting.
The significance of this is that in the past 13 years, the tribal factors that promote insurgency remain strong. Abdullah is likely to win the runoff election next month. His prospects improved after the Taliban announced their spring offensive this week.
Phi Beta Iota: First off, Abdullah won by the margin he did because Dostom betrayed Ghani. The illness was feigned. During the run-off, unless Ghani brings Dostom back on side, Dostom will again feign illness and throw the election. Secondly, Abdullah is 100% Tajik. Tajik mother, Tajik father, cannot speak Pashtu properly. His STEP-father is Pashtun. The US Government appears actively engaged in promoting this false claim of Pashtun blood (no one in Afghanistan buys this bullshit), and Wikipedia is as usual WRONG (as is NIGHTWATCH) when they spread the Pashtun blood nonsense. Third, Abdullah is funded by Iran. This is known openly but the the President is being mistakenly told he should not address this fact publicly. Finally — but this depends on Ghani getting his act together in the next week or so — Abdullah will not win, cannot win. Dostom is innocent of the Taliban murders, Robert Young Pelton has documented this, but the US State Department is both stupid and unethical and bought into Atta’s terrible slander and libel of Dostom. Ghani has a clear path to victory. The people supporting Abdullah are doing so for the wrong reasons, and are completely lacking in appreciation for what an Iranian-funded Abdullah victory would do to Afghanistan, the Pashtun tribe, and the evaporation of Afghanistan’s most promising future in agriculture, energy, telecommunications, and water.