Afghan President Declares Election Successful

08.20.09 | FL News Team

(Kabul)  --  Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has declared today's presidential election in his country a success, although the outcome is not yet known.  He made the statement while also saying there were more than 70 attacks on polling stations in 15 Afghan provinces as Taliban insurgents tried to disrupt the election.  Millions of Afghans turned out to vote as the war there grows worse.  

This was Afghanistan's second presidential election since the Taliban regime, a hardline Islamist group, was removed from power in 2001 when U.S. and NATO forces invaded the country.  That invasion came in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the U.S. because intelligence reports said the Taliban were harboring al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.  The White House said today the U.S. remains committed to disrupting and defeating al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies despite weakening American public support for the Afghan war.

Analysts say it's vital that Afghan voters view today's election results as credible.  Anything negative could cause their hopes for the future to wane along with their support for U.S.-backed options to a Taliban-run government.  Special U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke said this election might spur the Afghan leadership to better address problems such as the opium trade, corruption and faltering economic development.