Meanwhile, In Kabul

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah is alleging widespread fraud in last weekend’s runoff election against a former finance minister, Ashra Ghani:

Despite pleas from the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Ghani to give the [Independent Election Commission] time to conduct its count and review complaints, Abdullah is not accepting the second round election antics. In fact, it appears that he considers the IEC anything but ‘independent,’ and in many ways an instrument that remains loyal to the wishes and manipulations of Karzai.

If the vote’s credibility is shattered, Sune Engel Rasmussen warns that the ramifications could be very serious:

The consequences of an electoral failure go far beyond the immediate power struggle in Kabul. European and American officials have set a relatively clean election as a condition for the billions of dollars in aid on which the Afghan economy depends. And the ethnic tensions, as represented by the Abdullah and Ghani camps, could boil over.

Ghani, a former World Bank official educated in the U.S. who has served as finance minister and headed the security transition under Karzai, is Pashtun. To appeal to people in the North, he chose Abdul Rashid Dostum, a notorious Uzbek warlord, as his running mate. Abdullah, for his part, is of mixed Tajik and Pashtun ethnicity, and commands a lot of support from the Northincluding from Atta Muhammad Nur of the Balkh province, one of the most powerful governors in the country and a longtime rival of Dostum. Early Wednesday morning, Nur posted a Facebook photo of Mujahideen tanks rolling toward the frontline during the war against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The accompanying text read, “To become president, Ashraf Ghani has to cross this border. Passing this border is impossible. A second generation of jihad is coming.”

Oy.