Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the country's chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, have both claimed victory in a weekend presidential election, a scene reminiscent of the last vote in 2014.
Though preliminary overall results aren't expected for another three weeks, Abdullah told a news conference in Kabul on September 30 that by his count, he won such a clear-cut victory in the balloting that a second-round runoff won't be needed.
That followed a claim by Ghani's running mate, Amrullah Saleh, that the incumbent had won a clear first-ballot victory.
"The information that we have received shows that 60 to 70 percent of people voted [for] us," Saleh was quoted by Voice of America as saying.
Neither side offered any evidence to back up their claims, raising concerns that the war-torn country is headed for a similar situation that arose from the 2014 election, where the same two candidates made competing claims of victory.
If “support for the troops” or “honoring our veterans” was enough to get elected, the halls of Congress would be crawling with vets in 5.11 pants. However, what we are witnessing after 13 years of conflict is a “dramatically diminishing number of veterans in Congress.” There are several reasons for this decline, and it is unlikely we will return to a time when most members of Congress have a military background. For every example of a successful veteran election campaign, there are several more that floundered in the polls. In 2006, the Democratic Party put forward 55 veteran candidates to challenge incumbents. Only four won and only one is still in Congress. If you thought war was ugly, remember that it’s just an extension of politics by other means.