On Saturday 21, Afghanistan’s election commission announced Dr. Mohammed Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner of the country’s Presidential election. “The Independent Election Commission declares Mohammed Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as the president, and thus announces the end of election process,” commission chief Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani said.
The announcement followed an agreement signed by both Presidential candidates on the formation of a unity government, under which Dr. Ghani will be the President and the runner-up, Dr. Abdullah, will be his chief executive.
While the commission chief did not declare the number of votes secured for each candidate or the turnout figures at this stage, but indicated that the figures would be announced soon. The announcement came months after political deadlock, a political agreement facilitated by the United States and other members of the international community and a subsequent audit process overseen by the United Nations and international observers. The process confirmed millions of Afghan men and women turned out to cast votes for the future leadership of the country.
Outgoing President Hamid Karzai congratulated Dr. Ghani upon his election as President. He noted the agreement between the candidates was necessary for the goodness and prosperity of the country. “On behalf of the Afghan nation, I am congratulating them on this understanding and agreement,” he said.
Representatives of the United Nations, United States, NATO and leaders of a number of countries also welcomed the conclusion of a long electoral period. Speaking on behalf of the United Nations, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš remarked, “today’s announcement of the presidential election outcome takes the country an essential step nearer to its first ever democratic transition of authority.” The UN applauded both leaders and their supports for putting peace and stability of the country first.