It’s often said that slow and steady wins the race. But that’s not the case for Abdullah Abdullah, who needs a quick and decisive victory if he hopes to emerge as Afghanistan’s next president. Afghanistan’s complex ethnic politics likely mean that Abdullah must secure a first-round win — requiring more than 50 percent of the vote on April 5 — because he would struggle to win any second-round matchup. This is because of the nine remaining candidates, Abdullah stands as the exception. He is a mixed ethnic Tajik and Pashtun, while the other eight are Pashtun, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.
Despite his mixed ethnicity, Abdullah is seen by many Afghans as a Tajik. That has come as a result of his past prominence in the Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance as well as his close relationship with the anti-Taliban group’s slain ex-leader, Ahmad Shah Masud, a revered ethnic Tajik.
Dr. Abdullah, as he is commonly known, and his supporters express confidence that they can bring home an outright victory. But observers are pessimistic.
Martine van Bijlert, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, an independent research organization in Kabul, says it would be a “freak result” if Abdullah — or any other candidate for that matter — were to score a first-round victory.
Full Article: Afghan Election: First Round Or Nothing For Abdullah.