Karzai wins Afghan presidency

    Polls in Afghanistan closed this weekend as the nation’s runoff election was cancelled.







    Polls in Afghanistan closed this weekend as the nation’s runoff election was cancelled.
    CNN reports that Hamid Karzai, the incumbent, was named the winner of the presidential election today. His challenger Abdullah Abdullah bowed out of the race this weekend, making Karzai the only candidate.
    Although, technically, the election could have continued with just one candidate, officials stopped the voting Saturday, citing reasons like money and safety. This was Afghanistan’s second presidential election this year. The first one came under intense scrutiny because of voter fraud.
    Karzai won the initial election, but a U.N. backed panel wound up discarding almost a third of all votes. Abdullah demanded that several election commissioners step down, stating that he didn’t think they could ensure a fair runoff election because they were hired by Karzai.
    "I want this to be an example for the future so that no one again tries to use fraud to abuse the rights of the Afghan people," Abdullah said to reporters.
    Since this morning’s announcement, President Barack Obama has reached out to the leader to congratulate him, but he also called for better administration in Afghanistan during their talk.
    "Although the process was messy, I’m pleased to say that the final outcome was determined in accordance with Afghan law," the president told reporters. He noted telling Karzai “that this has to be a point in time in which we begin to write a new chapter based on improved governance, a much more serious effort to eradicate corruption, joint efforts to accelerate the training of Afghan security forces so that the Afghan people can provide for their own security."
    While the Aghan leader told Obama that he’s aware of the significance of his win, Obama told the other president that his actions would prove how well he understood this.



    — Sonya Eskridge




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