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Ashraf Ghani Wins Afghan Presidential Poll
Jul 09, 2014

Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai won Afghanistan’s presidential election, but fraud allegations are set to spark a dispute over the outcome and stoke concerns of instability. Ashraf Ghani won 56.4 per cent of the run-off vote to ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah’s 43.5 per cent. This marked a major comeback for Ashraf Ghani after the first-round election in April when eight men stood to succeed President Hamid Karzai.

According to Afghan officials said the turnout was more than eight million in the June 14 vote out of an estimated electorate of 13.5 million voters—far higher than expected, and a figure likely to fuel weeks of arguments about fraud from both sides.

The next president will lead Afghanistan at a pivotal time as US-led troops end their 13-year war against Taliban insurgents and the fragile economy struggles with declining international aid.

Independent Election Commission (IEC) head Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani said, “We cannot deny fraud and violations in the process, In some cases some security forces were involved, in other cases senior government officials like the governors or lower-level officials were involved.”    

Ashraf Ghani is the co-founder of the Institute for State Effectiveness, an organisation to improve the ability of states to serve their citizens.  As finance minister, between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery after the collapse of the Taliban government. He joined the World Bank in 1991, working on projects in East and South Asia. He spent five years each in China, India, and Russia managing large-scale development and institutional transformation projects. 

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