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Afghanistan - elections resolution

Karzai vows to stamp out corruption during second term

Article published on the 2009-11-03 Latest update 2009-11-05 14:29 TU

An Afghan security staffer celebrates Hamid Karzai's victory(Photo: Reuters)

An Afghan security staffer celebrates Hamid Karzai's victory
(Photo: Reuters)

President Hamid Karzai has vowed to "eradicate the stain" of corruption in Afghanistan after securing a second five-year term in office. The declaration comes after US President Barack Obama led world leaders in congratulating Karzai after his win, but urged swift action to unify the country.

"Afghanistan has been defamed by corruption. Our government has been defamed by corruption," Karzai said Tuesday morning. "We will strive, by any means possible, to eradicate this stain."

Karzai was declared President for another five years after the cancellation of a run-off by the country's election commission, which followed the withdrawal at the weekend of his only challenger, Abdullah Abdullah.

Obama said he told Karzai to make "a much more serious effort to eradicate corruption" while calling for a "new chapter" in co-operation between the two countries.

“Karzai assured me that he understood the importance of this moment but ... the truth is not going to be in words, it's going to be in deeds," Obama said.

Earlier the White House declared Karzai the legitimate leader of the country but said it would begin "hard conversations" with the new President, with Obama expected to make a decision on whether to deploy thousands more troops in the coming weeks.

President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday it would have been better for Afghanistan to have had a run-off election.

Speaking to RFI, analyst Martine van Bijlert from the Afghanistan Analysts Network said that the narratives from the election had yet to be consolidated.

"They’re very different among different groups," she said. 

"Among internationals the narrative is that there was fraud, but that it was dealt with and in the end there was a president that came out of this process in a legal manner."

Analysis: Martine van Bijlert, Afghanistan Analysts Network

03/11/2009 by Aidan O'Donnell

"Among Karzai and his supporters there’s a narrative that he was actually wrongly accused and unfairly accused and there was a conspiracy to make sure there was no strong government."

She says that most of the population felt that the vote was not theirs and elections were generally fraudulent in the country, adding that the opposition would perhaps use that feeling to their own ends.

"Abdullah will be forwarding the narrative that 'I stood up to the fraud, I called it when it was there', so he will be looking for some kind of moral high ground probably."

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