Next week, it is extremely likely that Afghanistan will have no president at all, neither a sitting president nor a president-elect, as President Hamid Karzai has promised to resign on schedule on September 2.
That’s a growing problem for the UN, with the Afghan vote audit not done, and unlikely to be finished until at least September 10. The legitimacy of this audit is even more questionable, as both candidates have withdrawn their observers.
Ashraf Ghani is the presumptive “winner,” having won the preliminary count, but wholly illegitimate with large amounts of evidence that the ballots were stuffed on his behalf.
Afghan elections are historically extremely dubious anyhow, but in this case, no result is likely to be passed off as anything close to fair, and with Karzai’s spokesman saying his bags are packed and he’s basically out the door, the US can’t even rest on the pretense of an orderly transfer of power as a partial victory for democracy.