Fewer EU election monitors for Afghan poll runoffOctober 21st, 2009 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS
Stockholm, Oct 21 (DPA) The European Union would find it difficult to send observers for the Afghan presidential runoff, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said Wednesday.
In an interview on Swedish radio, Bildt, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said it would be impossible to mobilise a large number of observers by Nov 7.
The runoff has been scheduled after election fraud marred the first round of voting in August, in which President Hamid Karzai finished first. He is to face the second-place finisher from the first round, his former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.
Bildt said the EU member states would likely send fewer election monitors than in the first round and added the security situation in southern and eastern Afghanistan was “extraordinarily difficult”.
On Tuesday, the EU welcomed the announcement of the runoff.
Tags: carl bildt, eastern afghanistan, election fraud, election monitors, eu member states, eu presidency, european union, foreign minister, hamid karzai, observers, place finisher, poll, president hamid karzai, presidential runoff, security situation, stockholm, swedish radio