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World hails historic Afghan elections

2009-08-21 13:46 BJT

Special Report: Afghan presidential election |

KABUL, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- World leaders and officials on Thursday hailed the presidential elections in Afghanistan as "successful" despite a low turnout in the presidential polls and tensions before and during the process.

Afghan voters cast their ballots for a second time since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001 to choose their next president and members of the provincial councils, despite sporadic Taliban attacks in 15 provinces.

After the elections, the UN Security Council extended a welcome and condemned the violence aimed at disrupting the elections.

British UN Ambassador John Sawers, who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for August, congratulated the people of Afghanistan on their participation in these "historic elections."

Members from the 15-nation Security Council also said they looked forward "to working with the newly elected representatives of the people of Afghanistan to help them deliver good governance, security, and justice, strengthen rule of law, and enhance economic opportunity for all Afghans."

Earlier in the day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised the elections and urged "all candidates, their agents and supporters" to continue to cooperate with all Afghan electoral institutions in handling all post-election affairs, including the counting of ballots.