Afghan incumbent Hamid Karzai secures second term

In Afghanistan, presidential candidate Hamid Karzai has secured a second term after his only challenger, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, dropped out of the election runoff.

The Afghan election commission on Monday has declared Hamid Karzai the winner and canceled the second round of elections scheduled for November 7 after claims of fraud marred the initial poll.

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah quit the race saying he doesn't believe a fair ballot is possible. Speaking to RT, he said the decision made by the election commission was expected and doubted the legitimacy of the governmental body.

“It’s the same body which administrated the elections and it was accused of massive fraud and bias. No better decision would have been expected from the same body,” Abdullah said.

“This [Afghan election commission] has not been seen as an independent body in the eyes of the people of Afghanistan and that’s very unfortunate for the whole process. The least of it is the legitimacy of any decision taken by it,” Abdullah added.

Mr. Abdullah made the right choice to pull out, says Semyon Bagdasarov, a state deputy from the Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee.

“Mr. Abdullah is a pro-American politician. The fact that he decided to quit the race implies a number of things. First of all, the American project on Afghanistan is coming to an end and he’s thinking about his future,” Bagdasarov said. “Secondly, he is a key person who is influential in the North and in the center of the country. Thirdly, I don’t exclude the fact, that part of the American leadership doesn’t take the Afghan election seriously and support Mr. Abdullah. Thus, this decision is absolutely correct.”

Reports suggest a coalition government may now be formed.

After the first round of elections Karzai’s vote only reached 49%, and his opponent Abdullah 31%.