Fired UN diplomat enters political fray

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Peter Galbraith, the former UN diplomat in Afghanistan who was fired over his cries of fraud following last year's presidential election there, is running for political office in his home state of Vermont.

Mr Galbraith said that even though he has spent years outside of the New England state working for the United Nations and serving as a US ambassador, the southeastern Vermont community of Townshend has always been his legal residence.

"I was involved in Vermont politics in the '70s," Mr Galbraith, 59, said yesterday. "This is my home, and I care about my home."

Mr Galbraith was fired last year from a UN post in Afghanistan after accusing his boss of downplaying election fraud. He also served as the first US ambassador to Croatia and as a UN diplomat in East Timor.

He has written two books on US policy in Iraq and is writing a book about Afghanistan. Mr Galbraith, who is seeking a seat in the state Senate, has never held elected office.

Even before this announcement, his name surfaced as a possible Democratic candidate for office. Two years ago he considered running against Republican Governor Jim Douglas. Mr Galbraith said: "People are much more serious than they are in other parts of the country.

"Politics is about getting things done, rather than scoring points."

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