» Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Asked about the Prime Minister s phone call with President Karzai today, the PMS said that the Prime Minister spoke to President Karzai and congratulated him on his statesman-like attitude and approach to the election process. Today we had seen an announcement on the outcome of the election, which saw forty-nine point six seven per cent of votes cast for President Karzai, and a decision on the second round. Both the lead candidates had agreed on this and the Prime Minister believed that the election process and the eventual outcome should be legitimate in the eyes of its people, which was why we hoped to have a conclusive result come November 7th.

The Prime Minister had been very closely involved in talking to a number of parties over the last few days in the run up to today s announcement and wanted to make sure that he was helping this process as much as he was able to. The Prime Minister had spoken to President Karai four times, as well as to Dr Abdullah and had also spoken several times to Senator Kerry.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought that the British soldiers who died had done so in vain given the corruption seen during the election, the PMS said that the Prime Minister regretted any loss of life in Afghanistan and had tremendous pride in what our soldiers did; any loss of life was a tragedy for them and their families. The campaign in Afghanistan had gone beyond preparing for the election process; it was about a series of very important aims including securing the long-term safety of Afghanistan and protecting this country from the threat of terrorism. As we worked towards November 7th it was important that the troops on the ground were able to do what they had done during the first round of elections, which was to help make sure it was a fair and free election.

Put that there could be a potentially damaging hiatus between the second round of the elections and the deployment of more British troops, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had accepted, as many others had, that there would be bumps along the road, which had been the case during the first round of elections. The Prime Minister had done a clip this afternoon on camera discussing the elections; there had been evidence of fraud but we hoped that lessons had been learnt along the way and that the second round would be run so as to minimise the types of occurrences that took place in the first round. The Prime Minister was very grateful to the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) and the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for the work they had done on the ground to get us to this stage.

Asked what arrangements could be put in place to ensure that the second round of elections was different to the first, the PMS said that we firstly had to learn from the initial round about how to run the ballot process better. Secondly, we had to make sure, as it was a shorter time period, that we focused on getting through the process quickly and effectively. It was for the Afghan authorities to make this happen and there was only so much that other countries could do to help the process. We had to have confidence in the process on the ground.

Asked if we attached any blame to President Karzai for the corruption in the first round of elections, the PMS said that there had been evidence of corruption in this election process but it was for the two bodies on the ground, the ECC and the IEC, to make the relevant action. We wanted the second round of elections to happen as quickly as possible so as the business of governing Afghanistan could continue.

Put that it seemed implausible to have a second election when the head of the government was corrupt, the PMS said that that was the journalist s characterisation of events and that the UK was not involved in running the elections in Afghanistan.

Put that as we had soldiers in Afghanistan it meant we had a stake in decisions relating to the elections, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had made it clear that there had been evidence of fraud during this election process, but it was not for anyone to point the finger of blame, other than to say that the system had not worked as well as we would have liked it to. We were observing the election from outside and it was important that the authorities on the ground carried on their work.

Asked if the Prime Minister had asked for assurances from President Karzai that what happened during the first round would not happen in the second, the PMS said that there were two bodies on the ground, one of which had an international input, and we had to have confidence that the two bodies could do what they did in the first round.

Asked who stuffed the ballots, the PMS said that it was not for those of us outside Afghanistan to comment.

Put that the Prime Minister needed assurance from President Karzai that he had learnt his lesson, the PMS said that we should be pleased that we had got to a stage where we were in sight of a clear outcome of the election, thanks to the second round. It was important to remember that this was the first Afghan-run election in thirty years.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Post a public comment

(You must give an email address, but it will not be displayed to the public.)
(You may give your website, and it will be displayed to the public.)


This is not a way of contacting the Prime Minister. If you would like to contact the Prime Minister, go to the 10 Downing Street official site.

Privacy note: Shortly after posting, your name and comment will be displayed on the site. This means that people searching for your name on the Internet will be able to find and read your comment.

Downing Street Says...

The unofficial site which lets you comment on the UK Prime Minister's official briefings. About us...


October 2009
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
« Sep   Nov »

Supported by


Disruptive Proactivity

Recent Briefings



Syndicate (RSS/XML)



Contact Sam Smith.

This site is powered by WordPress. Theme by Jag Singh