Kai Eide leaving UNAMA

Dec. 11, 2009 at 11:38 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide called on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to start looking for someone to take over his post, officials said.

Peter Galbraith, the former deputy special envoy to Afghanistan, blasted Eide for glossing over allegations that the vote in the August presidential election was exposed to rampant fraud.

The world community heaped praised on Afghans' ability to conduct their own presidential election, though pervasive fraud was seen as leading to the victory for incumbent President Hamid Karzai.

The International Crisis Group, a global monitoring group, in November wrote that unless the credibility of the U.N. mission in Afghanistan was somehow restored, "Eide must step down."

Eide, however, was reportedly not interested in renewing his two-year post, and U.N. representatives said the vetting request was not a resignation tied to the elections, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"This is not a question of resignation," said U.N. spokesman Dan McNorton. "Kai Eide is sticking to the timetable that he outlined when he took the job in March 2008."

The Times of London reported Dec. 1 that replacements for Eide were already being vetted. Among his possible successors are Staffan de Mistura, the former U.N. envoy to Iraq, and Hikmet Cetin, a Turkish national who was the NATO envoy to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2006.

It was expected that Eide would step down before a January summit on Afghanistan scheduled in London.

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