Clinton 'Hopeful' as Karzai Weighs Runoff, Deal

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 19, 2009 4:40 PM CDT
Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah arrives at a press conference in Kabul, Oct. 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)
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(Newser) – Hamid Karzai intends to announce tomorrow how he will "set the stage" for resolving the country's postelection political crisis, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today. She wouldn't say whether the Afghan president has decided to accept the findings of a UN-backed fraud investigation that threw out nearly a third of Karzai's ballots from the disputed August election and set the stage for a runoff.

"He is going to announce his intentions," Clinton said after meeting with president Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq. "I am going to let him do that, but I am encouraged at the direction the situation is moving." An option that would preclude a runoff would be a power-sharing agreement between Karzai and his closest challenger in the August balloting, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. "I am very hopeful that we will see a resolution in line with the constitutional order in the next several days," Clinton said.