Sources close to Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah say he
may pull out of next week's runoff election against President Hamid
Karzai, due to concerns about the credibility of the poll.
News reports cite officials saying Mr. Abdullah will pull out of the runoff if his demands are not met by Saturday.
Mr. Abdullah has complained about the credibility of the runoff, and
has demanded the removal of the head of the Afghan election commission,
Azizullah Lodin. Mr. Karzai rejected that demand.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a boycott by Mr. Abdullah would not compromise the legitimacy of the election.
Speaking in the United Arab Emirates Saturday, Clinton said such
situations are not unusual, noting that they also happen in the United
The November 7 runoff was triggered by a U.N.-backed investigation that found widespread fraud in the August 20 vote.
U.S. officials say President Barack Obama is waiting until after next
week's runoff to make a decision on whether to send more U.S. forces to
On Friday, President Obama met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff --
military leaders from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines -- at the
White House to discuss the troop request and the way forward in
Officials say no decisions were made during Friday's session.
President Obama has been considering a request from the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan (, General Stanley McChrystal,) for 40,000 more U.S. forces to battle a growing Taliban insurgency.
Earlier Friday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president's
review process was nearing an end and that no future strategy meetings