A new alliance forms just as fighting season begins
Abdullah's the man
AFGHANISTAN announced the results of the first round of its presidential election on May 15th. Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, gained 45% of the vote. Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official, secured 31.6% and Zalmai Rassoul, another former foreign minister, got 11.4%. The election will now move to a run-off between Dr Abdullah and Mr Ghani, due on June 14th.
阿富汗于5月15日公布了总统大选首轮结果：前外长阿卜杜拉·阿卜杜拉赢得45%的支持率，前世界银行官员阿什拉夫·贾尼获得31.6%，另一位前外长扎尔迈·拉苏尔获得了11.4% 。大选将于6月14日在阿卜杜拉与贾尼间决出胜者 。
The manoeuvring for the second round had already begun before the announcement, as Mr Rassoul, aware he would finish third, threw his support behind Dr Abdullah on May 11th. The move boosted the former ophthalmologist's chances of becoming president. Dr Abdullah is of mixed Pushtun-Tajik ethnicity but is widely seen as Tajik, so the endorsement from Mr Rassoul, from the dominant Pushtuns, is valuable. Mr Ghani is also a Pushtun.
第二轮的竞争在首轮结果宣布之前业已打响 。5月11日，当拉苏尔自知将位列第三，便对阿卜杜拉予以声援支持，此举进一步提高这位前眼科医生成为总统的可能 。阿卜杜拉是普什图-塔吉克混血，但一般认为他是塔吉克人，因此普什图人拉苏尔的支持对他来说甚为珍贵（阿国普什图族为主） 。贾尼也是普什图人 。
Now debate will focus on whether a run-off should take place at all. In the previous election in 2009, under international pressure, Dr Abdullah stood down after the first round, even though his opponent, Hamid Karzai, did not reach 50%. Mindful of the security risks and the costs of a run-off, and of the double-digit gap between them, some suggest Mr Ghani should do the same, but he has pledged to fight on.
目前的争议集中在第二轮竞争是否有存在必要 。上次09大选，尽管对手哈米德·卡尔扎伊并没有达到50%支持率，但迫于国际压力，阿卜杜拉还是在首轮之后就退出竞选 。出于对第二轮竞选安全风险和成本的考虑，以及二者之前两位数的差距，一些人认为贾尼也应当学习阿卜杜拉当年的做法 。但贾尼称要继续竞选 。
A run-off will give the new president a mandate, but it will also let the Taliban reassert themselves. Having failed to disrupt the first round, they signalled their intentions on May 12th, launching a spring offensive with attacks across the country. The second round seems sure to be bloodier. The Taliban also promised to target the remaining foreign troops, as well as government institutions. No wonder that both Dr Abdullah and Mr Ghani have pledged to sign a security pact with America to allow 10,000 foreign soldiers to remain in Afghanistan after the majority leave by the end of the year.
第二轮选举将产生新总统，但也将给塔利班有机会卷土重来 。塔利班未能扰乱第一轮，遂声称将于5月12日在阿富汗全国发起春季攻势 。第二轮选举注定将发生更多流血事件 。塔利班称尚未撤军的外国军队和政府机关都将成为攻击目标 。难怪阿卜杜拉和贾尼都承诺与美国签订安全协议，以确保在驻阿部队年底前大部分撤离的情况下在阿富汗维持10000人的军队规模 。
1.take place 发生，举行
They will now take place on january 15th.
The new poll will take place on november 7.
2.pledge to 承诺
Will the markets reward the government for its a pledge to eliminate public borrowing?
Did the oil companies follow through with their pledge to create a rapid-response mechanism for future spills?
3.promise to 保证
I promise to come back soon.
And I promise to be very quiet.
4.allow to 允许
Allow to freeze solid for 3-4 hours or overnight.
Apply solution to the tube and allow to become tacky.