Report: Galbraith proposed ousting Karzai

Dec. 16, 2009 at 11:55 PM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Peter Galbraith, a leading U.N. official in Afghanistan at the time of the presidential election, proposed replacing Hamid Karzai, The New York Times reported.

Galbraith suggested getting the backing of the Obama administration, U.N. officials told the Times. He made the suggestion in a letter to Karl Eide of Norway, head of the U.N. delegation in the country.

Karzai was under fire at the time because of apparent fraud in the first-round of voting for president. A commission backed by the United Nations later found one-third of Karzai's votes were fraudulent and ordered a runoff, which became moot when his opponent dropped out, saying it would not be a fair election.

Galbraith, who had been endorsed for the job of No. 2 envoy for the United Nations in Afghanistan by U.S. Envoy Richard Holbrooke, left the country in early September. He was fired soon after, which he blamed on his disputes with Eide.

Holbrooke said he did not know of any proposal to replace Karzai. He told the Times Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would not have backed the plan.

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