Yesterday’s intrigue concerned with the possible opening of Loya Jirga has already vanished today, as if it never existed at all. Yesterday, there were three candidates for the post of prime minister of Afghanistan: incumbent Prime Minister Hamid Karzai, ex-President Burhanuddin Rabbani, and ex-king of Afghanistan, 87-year-old Mohammad Zahir Shah. The latter gave up the struggle for the prime minister post yesterday. Burhanuddin Rabbani has quit the election race today. He said at that “Karzai is to be the only candidate at Loya Jirga.” The ex-president met Hamid Karzai early today and agreed to “work on joint decisions concerning the formation of the new government.”
Therefore, if no other candidate to the post of prime minister advances claims within the several hours left before Loya Jirga meets, Hamid Karzai is to become a non-alternative candidate. The majority of the population is satisfied with this fact, especially Karzai’s supporters and the followers of the ex-monarch. When the ex-monarch announced his support of Hamid Karzai in public, the latter’s ratings immediately jumped. The Northern Alliance could not help but to take this fact into consideration, which is why Rabbani’s withdrawal from the race was quite logical after yesterday’s demarche of Zahir Shah.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/11/42517.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969