U.S. congratulates Afghanistan on 'historic' presidential elections

The U.S. government conveyed its congratulations to the people of Afghanistan following a high voter turnout for presidential elections on Saturday. The winner, who has not yet been announced, will be Afghanistan's first democratically-elected president.
By JC Finley  |  April 7, 2014 at 12:16 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Afghanistan for a successful voter turnout for Saturday's presidential elections.

Millions headed to the polls over the weekend to cast their vote, marking the end of Hamid Karzai's 13-year tenure as president.

"On behalf of the American people," Obama said Saturday, "I congratulate the millions of Afghans who enthusiastically participated in today's historic elections, which promise to usher in the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history and which represent another important milestone in Afghans taking full responsibility for their country as the United States and our partners draw down our forces."

Despite threats of violence by the Taliban, Kerry remarked that the voter turnout was illustrative of Afghanistan's "courage and commitment" to democracy. "The fierce determination of the millions of voters undeterred by violence and threats of violence has been remarkable."

Kerry acknowledged that while the voting is now complete, "we need to give the Afghan electoral bodies the time they need to do their work in processing the outcome of these elections."

"... we look forward to continuing our partnership with the new government chosen by the Afghan people on the basis of mutual respect and mutual accountability," the president added.

[White House] [State Department]

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