Ashraf Ghani wins presidential polls, will continue as Afghan President: Final results

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 18, 2020, 06.37 PM(IST)

File photo of Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The results had been delayed for nearly five months after allegations of vote-rigging from Ghani's main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, forced a recount.

Ashraf Ghani secured the second term as Afghan president, final results showed on Tuesday.

"The election commission... declares Mr Ashraf Ghani, who has won 50.64 per cent of the votes, as the president of Afghanistan," election commission chief Hawa Alam Nuristani said in a press conference in Kabul. 

Also read: India calls Afghan presidential election 'important milestone'

The results had been delayed for nearly five months after allegations of vote-rigging from Ghani's main rival, Abdullah Abdullah, forced a recount.

Millions of people in Afghanistan braved persistent threats from the Taliban and cast their votes in September. The elections were fourth since the Taliban were ousted in a US-led invasion in 2001.

However, the elections were marred by low voter turnout, logistical issues, fraud allegations, calls for boycott and attacks by the Taliban.

According to the Afghan government, 72,000 security personnel were deployed with 9.6 million people registered to vote during the polls.

The election result comes at a critical time for Afghanistan as the United States is showing more interest in negotiating a peace settlement with the Taliban to end a war that has dragged on for more than 18 years.

Eighty-five civilians were killed and more than 370 wounded in militant attacks and violence on the day of the election, the United Nations had said in November, and the country plunged into chaos with both Ghani’s and Abdullah’s camps claiming victory before ballots had been tallied.

The U.N. report accused the Taliban of deliberate attacks against civilians on election day.

(With inputs from agencies)