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At Last, Afghanistan Has a New President

Ashraf Ghani will step up after power-sharing deal reached
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 21, 2014 8:57 AM CDT
At Last, Afghanistan Has a New President
Afghanistan's presidential election candidates Abdullah Abdullah, left, and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai hug after signing a power-sharing deal at the presidential palace in Kabul, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014.   (Massoud Hossaini)

(Newser) – Afghanistan's election commission has named Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner of the country's presidential election, but the commission did not release final vote figures. The commission's announcement today came hours after Ghani Ahmadzai signed a power sharing agreement with opponent Abdullah Abdullah, who will fill the newly created position of government chief executive. A Ghani Ahmadzai supporter—Halim Fidai, a former governor—said today that UN representative Jan Kubish told the commission not to release detailed vote tallies.

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"I am very happy today that both of my brothers, Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, in an Afghan agreement for the benefit of this country, for the progress and development of this country, that they agreed on the structure affirming the new government of Afghanistan," said President Hamid Karzai, as per USA Today. The decision underscores the fear of potential violence despite today's deal. An anonymous senior US official said the vote result is transparent but may be released slowly over fears of violence. (Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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