Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission has declared President Hamid Karzai the winner of a second five-year term after his rival Abdullah Abdullah dropped out of the race. Abdullah said the runoff would be just as corrupt as the original election and withdrew in protest.

The U.S. and Britain have already lined up behind Karzai, whose authority is so limited he is derisively known as the “Mayor of Kabul.”

President Barack Obama was due to give Karzai a call Monday to officially acknowledge Karzai’s victory, according to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

Karzai has been Afghanistan’s front man since the U.S. removed the Taliban from power in 2001. — PZS and KA


Hamid Karzai has been declared president of Afghanistan, after election officials scrapped a planned second round of voting.

The announcement comes a day after Mr Karzai’s sole challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, pulled out of the race.

Dr Abdullah, who had demanded the removal of key poll officials, said the vote would not have been fair. The first round had been marred by fraud.

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