Quickie: Top US Rep at UN Mission Afghanistan Pushed Out?

Photo from UNAMA

The Times is reporting that UN chief Peter Galbraith is removed in Afghanistan poll clash (The Times | September 15, 2009): Excerpts:

America’s top diplomat at the United Nations mission in Afghanistan has been ordered out of the country after a row with his boss over how to respond to last month’s fraud-riddled presidential elections, it has been alleged. The alleged quarrel is threatening to spark a mutiny within the UN mission. At least a dozen senior staff are backing the American, Peter Galbraith, in the dispute with his Norwegian superior, Kai Eide.
Mr Galbraith wants the IEC to annul results from 1,000 of the total of about 6,500 polling stations and to recount results from another 5,000, diplomatic sources said. Mr Eide, a former UN envoy in Bosnia, seeks only a face-saving recount of some 1,000 polling places, the sources said.
“The one thing the UN should be doing, which it’s not doing, is speaking up on election fraud,” said a mission insider. “A lot of people in the UN feel that unless there’s space for someone to behave as Peter has behaved, then what are we doing here?”
Farhan Haq, a UN spokesman in New York, said that Mr Galbraith was in Boston “on mission” and would travel to London next week before going to New York to brief the UN Security Council on September 29 with Mr Eide.

Read the whole thing here.

Peter W. Galbraith is Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) for Afghanistan, with responsibility for political affairs. He served as the first United States Ambassador to Croatia from 1993 to 1998 and was the co-mediator of the 1995 Erdut Agreement that ended the Croatia war.

Updated 9/16/09

Laura Rozen now of Politico reports that Galbraith denies he was booted from Afghanistan. “I left at my own initiative for a brief period of time,” Galbraith told POLITICO, speaking from his home in Vermont.