The re-elected Afghan president Hamid Karzai has vowed to eradicate corruption and form an inclusive government, in a nationally televised victory speech. He said that no-one should see themselves as distant in the process, and that all Afghans would be a part of the new administration. Karzai was officially declared the winner of the disputed election after a run-off vote was cancelled.
Other leaders have been giving their qualified support. On a visit to Kabul yesterday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said Karzai’s government had to command the support of both the Afghan people and the international community. President Obama has said it’s time to “write a new chapter”, warning the Afghan leader to get serious in tackling corruption. The president’s only election rival has emerged in a strong position as opposition leader. Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from the race, citing doubts that the run-off would be fair, following widespread fraud in the first round. Some observers are questioning Karzai’s legitimacy, asking whether he can govern effectively after the flawed election. As President Obama decides whether to send more troops to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, White House officials say a key question is whether the US has a credible partner to work with.