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Afghanistan’s president Ghani wins second term

EPA-EFE/FABRICE COFFRINI / POOL POOL
Afghani President Ashraf Ghani delivers a speech during the United Nations conference on Afghanistan at the UN Office in Geneva, Switzerland, 28 November 2018.

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Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has won a second term as Afghanistan’s president.
The final election results, months after the vote, were released on Tuesday. Officials said Ghani’s main opponent, Afghanistan’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, won 39.52% of last September’s vote, while Ghani had taken 50.64%. According to electoral rules, winning over 50% means he will avoid a second round of voting.
Abdullah rejected the results and vowed to form his own parallel government: “Our team, based on clean and biometric votes, is the victor and we declare our victory. The fraudsters are the shame of history and we announce our inclusive government”, Abdullah said.
The results were originally scheduled to be announced in October, but they were delayed over allegations of fraud and protests from candidates. Over the past five years, Ghani and Abdullah shared power in a “unity government” formed by the United States, following allegations of widespread fraud and corruption in the 2014 polls.
Ghani emphasized the importance of peace talks with the Taliban, saying his winning team will bring peace to the country. “We ask the Taliban as well to come and participate in elections”, he said. At the Munich Security Conference, Ghani said a proper announcement on a US-Taliban deal to end the 18-year war in the country will be made in a week to ten days.

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