Karzai Sworn In, Vows to Fight Corruption

Afghan prez promises to take over country's security in 5 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2009 5:25 AM CST
Updated Nov 19, 2009 7:31 AM CST
US soldiers stand next to their vehicles at a checkpoint near the town of Balisal Afghan, Logar province, Afghanistan, today. Security was stepped up today for Karzai's inauguration.   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
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(Newser) – Hamid Karzai vowed to fight corruption today after he was sworn in to a second 5-year term as president of Afghanistan. Karzai, whose election victory was tainted by widespread allegations of vote-rigging, said his government would learn from "our mistakes and shortcomings of the last eight years." The ceremony was attended by Afghan and foreign dignitaries, including Hillary Clinton, AP reports.

Karzai promised to fight drugs and terrorism and said that Afghanistan would be ready to take charge of its own security before his term was finished. The president lacks credibility with many Afghans, and analysts believe he will have a hard time establishing authority. "Karzai has to earn political capital because he has none left," one diplomat told AFP.