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4 Nov, 2009 15:21

Afghan government can’t cope with corruption – former presidential candidate

Former Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has said Hamid Karzai’s re-election was illegal and new government won’t be able to deal with corruption and terrorism in the country.

Former foreign minister Abdullah withdrew from the November 7 runoff because of concerns over the fairness of the voting. Following that, on November 2, Afghanistan’s election commission cancelled the runoff and declared Karzai the winner, awarding him another five-year term.

According to Abdullah, the commission’s decision was “illegal” and the new government “can’t have legitimacy.” Talking to reporters in Kabul, he said this government can’t deal with the “the threat from terrorism, security problems, poverty, unemployment,” and many other challenges Afghanistan faces.

Meanwhile, in a victory speech on Tuesday, the re-elected Afghan President Hamid Karzai vowed to welcome everyone into his administration, including political opponents and even the Taliban.

"We call on our Taliban brothers to come home and embrace their land," he said.

The Taliban, however, rejected the olive branch offered by Karzai and pledged to continue their fight, labeling the president "a puppet".

"The cancellation of the second round of the vote showed that decisions on Afghanistan are made in Washington and London, while the announcements are made in Kabul," reads the statement issued by the Islamic movement.

Karzai also pledged to eliminate the corruption that undermined his administration.

Afghanistan’s vice president Mohammad Karim Khalili told RT, about the challenges the new government will now be facing.

“Our main issue now is not to involve the Taliban in the government. It is to stop the war. We want our country to be peaceful and we want the Taliban to stop fighting,” he said.

“Every citizen of Afghanistan has the right to take part in ruling the country. We have big financial problems and we’d like the international community to help us solve that,” he went on.

The politician added that they’d “like Dr Abdullah not to refuse to cooperate with us.”

And President Obama has called on the Afghan leader to concentrate on fighting corruption and clean up his government.

Meanwhile, tension between President Karzai’s government and the US-led coalition has been raised after the Defense Ministry in Kabul said eight Afghans working with US forces were killed in a NATO air strike in the north-west of the country.

The “friendly fire” incident happened when US and Afghan forces were under insurgent attack during search operations for two American soldiers.

Read also – Futureless Karzai Brings Political Vacuum to Afghanistan