Election Universe

US lauds historic Afghan elections; runoff slated

US lauds historic Afghan elections; runoff slated
May 06 2014, 07:23

The recent presidential polls in Afghanistan failed to determine a winner when none of the 11 candidates garnered the required minimum 50% votes to win.  For the United States, though, the exercise was a resounding success.

In a statement, President Barack lauded the millions of Afghans who voted, calling the elections a milestone in their aspiration to self-determination.  Most observers were surprised by  the turnout — 7 million out of 12 million eligible voters, or about 58%.  This was significant number in a country that had always been plagued by conflict.

“We commend the Afghan people, security forces, and elections officials on the turnout for today’s vote – which is in keeping with the spirited and positive debate among candidates and their supporters in the run-up to the election,” Obama said.

The Independent Election Commission likewise praised the elections with its head Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani going on national television to say that polls went pretty good.

“We are satisfied with it and with the results,” Nuristani said.

To determine the winner to succeed incumbent President Hamid Karzai, a runoff has been scheduled for June 7 where the top two vote-getters, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, will face each other off.

Abdullah, who is an ophthalmologist by training, was handpicked by Karzai to be foreign minister.

US-educated Ghani, who earned his doctorate at Columbia University, is from the Pashtun ethnic group and has at one time served as the country’s finance minister under Karzai.


Photo courtesy of CNN