President Karzai's only challenger pulled out of the election runoff
The announcement that there will be no second round in the Afghan presidential election - thus leaving incumbent President Hamid Karzai as the winner - does not please the country's independent press.
One paper accuses him of undermining the credibility of elections in the country and another suspects the United Nations chief's visit may have influenced the electoral commission's decision.
However, state-run Hewad is upbeat and calls for the Afghan people to rally round their leader.
The UN secretary-general announced... that he supports the election commission's decision on the outcome of Afghanistan's elections and therefore, Hamid Karzai took this opportunity. He declared himself the winner through his own commission. This is such a cowardly action. Such an approach will not legitimise his rule and will permanently call into question the credibility of elections in Afghanistan.
It is not clear based on which article of the constitution the election commission has taken this decision. But, it is almost clear that it was the main objective of Ban Ki-moon's visit to Afghanistan.
The Independent Election Commission declared Hamid Karzai the president for the next five years contrary to expectations yesterday... Karzai could have won the second round of elections anyway... We hope it will break the deadlock that has reigned since 20 August.
Fortunately, the nation once again voted for Hamid Karzai at this critical stage and elected him president for the second time... Afghanistan is entering a new stage. Everyone should spare no efforts to assist and co-operate with their national leader in implementing all programmes in the light of supreme national interests.
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