Afghan Presidential Challenger Quits Runoff

Abdullah-AbdullahAfghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah withdrew Sunday from the upcoming runoff election against President Hamid Karzai, saying that the government is not meeting his demands for a fair vote.

“I want this to be an example for the future so that no one again tries to use fraud to abuse the rights of the Afghan people,” Abdullah said.

Following his announcement Sunday, Abdullah had a request for his supporters.

“Not to take to the streets. Not to feel grief. I know it is difficult,” Abdullah said. “After all, this is not [a] democratic environment. But at the same time, it is for a good cause. It is for the future generations of this country.”

The Nov. 7 runoff election will not be affected with Abdullah’s withdrawal, and ensures the re-election of President Hamid Karzai if the voting proceeds as scheduled.

According to Afghan election officials, the election must continue as it is according to the country’s constitution. A spokesman for the election commission also told VOA that Abdullah had missed the deadline to officially withdraw.

Watch this report by CNN: