US tried to oust Karzai by fixing Afghan elections

US ‘tried to oust Hamid Karzai by manipulating Afghan elections’
Former defence secretary Robert Gates is quoted as saying in his memoirs that US tried to eject Afghan president in 2009

Top US diplomats connived in delaying an Afghan presidential election in 2009 and then tried to manipulate the outcome in a “clumsy and failed putsch” that aimed to oust Hamid Karzai, the US defence secretary at the time, Robert Gates, has said.

In a memoir to be published next week, less than three months before Afghanistan’s next critical presidential poll, Gates says the 2009 election was “ugly” and that, though the president was “tainted”, “our hands were dirty as well”.

The revelation was greeted with triumph in the presidential palace in Kabul, where Karzai and his confidantes have long accused the US of trying to push him out of office. Washington has always insisted it was an impartial supporter of the democratic process.

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