Serious Arm Twisting

Karzai’s assent to an election runoff is apparently the result of some seriously high profile arm bending.

"Before Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, acceded to a runoff election on Tuesday, you could almost hear his arm being twisted," according to The New York Times. And who were the twisters? Well, some pretty "top level talent" comprised of secretary of state Hillary Clinton, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner. Despite the international audit which found Mr Karzai had not achieved an elected majority after all, it still took a series of marathon negotiations to get him to accede to a second election. But, says The New York Times, this has been the easy part: "To ensure that the runoff is fair and credible, it’s going to take a lot more effort and high-level attention — and even more arm-twisting. And there are less than three weeks before the November 7 vote."

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