Saturday, June 14, 2014

Afghans Head to Polls to Choose New President

Afghans headed back to the polls in the second and final round of the country’s presidential election to choose between former anti-Taliban fighter Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani.

Electing a new president to replace Karzai will be the first democratic transfer of power in Afghan tumultuous history. Today’s voting was also a victory for the country’s security forces that prevented any major disruptions by the Taliban.

The new president will take power in a crucial time for the country. The U.S. and NATO forces will end their combat mission by the end of this year amid a general upheaval in the Islamic world and a growing insurgency by the Taliban inside Afghanistan.

Twelve million voters were eligible to cast ballots at 6,365 polling centers across Afghanistan, with preliminary results due on 2 July.

UPDATE: Turnout in the second round of presidential election was reported to be very high, some calling it “mammoth,” especially among women; an encouraging sign for a people under the Taliban threat. Warmest congratulations to our Afghan friends and to all Afghans.

File photo: Abdullah Abdullah (l.) and Ashraf Ghani

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