Afghan President Ghani wins 2nd term – election commission
Afghanistan has declared incumbent Ashraf Ghani the winner of a disputed presidential election held almost five months ago. Ghani won 50.64 percent of the vote, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said on Tuesday. Abdullah Abdullah, Ghani’s former deputy and main rival, was named runner-up with 39.52 percent.
The result could trigger new turmoil amid accusations of fraud, as hope remains for a possible peace deal with Taliban militants, Reuters said. Polls were held on September 28 to select a president for the fourth time since US-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in 2001. The election was marred by allegations of rigging, technical problems with biometric devices used for voting, attacks and other irregularities.
The IEC announced “preliminary results” in December in which Ghani, a former World Bank official, won re-election by a slim margin. Abdullah Abdullah dismissed the result as fraudulent and called for a full review. Ghani rejected the allegations.