Karzai declared elected, to take oath on November 19; Obama and other world leaders greet Karzai; UNSC calls for addressing the challenges facing the war-ravaged country; Dr. Abdullah says new government cannot cope with the challenges facing the country;
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  • Incumbent president Hamid Karzai was declared the winner in the Afghan presidential election on November 2 by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) as his challenger Dr. Abdullah Abdullah dropped out of the November 7 runoff elections. Mr. Karzai will take oath for the second term on November 19.1

    Even as President Obama congratulated Mr. Karzai for his re-election, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs urged the Karzai administration to immediately address the issues of corruption, credibility and governance.2 UN chief Ban Ki Moon, British PM Gordon Brown, India’s Prime Minster Dr. Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari were among other world leaders who congratulated Mr. Karzai on his re-election. The members of the UN Security Council also called on the administration to address the challenges facing the war-ravaged country. They also commended the Afghan people for their participation in the electoral process.3

    Dr. Abdullah meanwhile charged that the new government was illegal and maintained that it would not be able to cope with the problems facing the country, including those of security and corruption.4 President Karzai on his part stated that he would seek to unify the country and pledged to work with all Afghans.5

    In other developments, the UN mission in Afghanistan announced plans to relocate hundreds of foreign staff members in the wake of a lethal attack on its workers in the previous week.