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Election commission: Afghan president Ghani wins 2nd term

18 Feb 2020 The Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s independent election commission says President Ashraf Ghani has won a second term as president.

The commission announced Tuesday that Ghani garnered 923,592 votes, or 50.64%, in the election that took place last Sept. 28. Challenger and chief executive Abdullah Abdullah received 720,841 votes, or 39.52%.

Election results were repeatedly delayed amid accusations of misconduct and technical problems with counting ballots.

Hawa Alam Nuristani, head of the election commission, has said previously that 1.8 million Afghan citizens voted in the election out of some 9.6 million eligible.

Abdullah in December agreed to allow a ballot recount in provinces where his supporters had stopped the process for almost a month. The election commission had tried to launch a ballot recount in November but Abdullah halted the attempt, saying he wouldn’t let his observers participate.

Ghani and Abdullah head a fragile national unity government that was put together under U.S. pressure after both leaders claimed victory in Afghanistan’s last elections in 2014.

Abdullah, who serves as the country’s chief executive in a fragile national unity government with President Ashraf Ghani

The results come days after U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a truce agreement between the United States and the Taliban that could lead to the withdrawal of American troops from the country.

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