‘ Afghanistan’s Presidential Candidates Sign Power Sharing Agreement ‘

#AceBreakingNews – KABUL – September 21 – Afghanistan’s two presidential contenders signed an unprecedented power-sharing agreement Sunday, ending a drawn-out political stand-off and setting the stage for a U.S. troop commitment past this year.

Signing Power-Sharing Agreement '

Signing Power-Sharing Agreement ‘

The agreement names Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, who is believed to have received the most votes in a June run-off election, as president.

His challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, will become chief executive.

“I am very happy today that both of my brothers, Dr. Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, in an Afghan agreement for the benefit of this country, for the progress and development of this country, that they agreed on the structure affirming the new government of Afghanistan,” President Hamid Karzai, in power since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban, said after the signing.

The deal ends political wrangling that began after a June run-off vote between two candidates. An independent election commission was assigned to audit the results after allegations of widespread fraud. 

Later Sunday, the country’s election commission announced Ghani Ahmadzai as the winner of the presidential election, but did not release final vote figures.

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` Barack Obama is Seeking to Retain Nine Thousand Eight Hundred Troops in Afghanistan ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – May 27 – President Barack Obama is seeking to keep 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan after the US ends its combat mission in the country at the end of this year.

The US plan calls for troop levels to be reduced from its current force of 32,000 by the end of 2014.

The remaining US military presence would train Afghan forces and support counter-terrorism operations.

These numbers would be contingent on the Afghan government signing a bilateral security agreement.

While current Afghan President Hamid Karzai has refused to sign such an agreement, the Obama administration appears to be confident either of the two candidates seeking to replace him would do so.

Ace World News

AP – Reuters

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` Afghans Braved Taliban Threats to Vote in Afghanistan 44.9% Abudullah 31.5% Ghani No Decisive Victory’

#AceNewsServices – KABUL – April 26 – (DWN) – Millions of Afghans braved Taliban threats Saturday to vote for a successor to President Hamid Karzai in a landmark election held as US-led forces wind down their long intervention in the country.

Polling stations officially closed at 5:00 pm (1230 GMT), officials said, after a day without major security incidents. But voting was set to continue for some time as voters in line at polling stations would be allowed to cast their ballot, a senior official with the Independent Election Commission said.

Security was a major concern following a string of high-profile attacks in the capital Kabul, most recently a suicide bombing at the Interior Ministry on Wednesday that killed six police officers. The Taliban have rejected the election as a foreign plot, and urged their fighters to attack polling staff, voters and security forces.

Afghanistan’s third presidential election brings an end to 13 years of rule by Karzai, who has led the country since the Taliban were ousted in a US-led invasion in 2001.

The Nato coalition force is pulling out its last 51,000 combat troops this year, leaving Afghan forces to battle the Taliban insurgency without their help.

Afghanistan’s presidential election is set for a second-round vote, preliminary results showed Saturday, as former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani both failed to secure a decisive victory.

The vote will choose a successor to outgoing President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power.

The eventual winner will have to oversee the fight against a resilient Taliban insurgency as 51,000 US-led troops depart this year, as well as strengthen an economy that relies on declining aid money.

“Based on our results, it appears that the election goes to the second round,” Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, head of the Independent Election Commission, told a press conference in Kabul.

Abdullah secured 44.9 per cent of the April 5 vote, with his main rival Ghani on 31.5 per cent, according to the preliminary results.

Dawn

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` Afghanistan Elections and `Abdullah Abdullah ' Leads at the ` First Official Result ' even with over a Million Suspects Votes '

#AceWorldNews – KABUL – April 13 – (Reuters) – Former opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah led on Sunday after the first official results from Afghanistan’s presidential election, but recorded incidents of serious fraud exceed figures for 2009, when over a million suspect votes were thrown out.

Initial results based on 10 percent of the vote from 26 out of 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 41.9 percent, the Independent Election Commission said, while Western-leaning academic Ashraf Ghani came second with 37.6 percent.

A third candidate, running with the backing of two of President Hamid Karzai’s brothers, trailed far behind with 9.8 percent.

“I want to make clear that the results could change in future, as we announce the results with additional percentages of the vote and this is not the final result,” said the chairman of the election commission, Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani.

Afghanistan’s allies praised the April 5 vote as a success because of the high turnout, estimated at 60 percent of 12 million eligible votes, and the failure of Taliban militants to stage high-profile attacks on the day.

Read More: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/13/us-afghanistan-election-idUSBREA3C07T20140413

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` Taliban Pre-Electoral Campaign of `Bloodshed continues in Afghanistan as Six Die in Interior Ministry ‘

#AceWorldNews – KABUL – April 04 – (RT) – The Taliban pre-electoral campaign of bloodshed continues in Afghanistan, as six die in an attack on the interior ministry in Kabul.

As the first democratic transfer of power approaches, the country is in terrible shape ahead of the 2014 US pull-out.

A suicide bomber attacked the interior ministry compound in the capital on Wednesday, just three days before polls open, amid months of increasing violence from the country’s extremist Taliban insurgency(KP).

The bomber wore military uniform to avoid detection and security checks, local authorities reported. This, after earlier on the same day, the terrorist group killed nine people they had abducted several days prior to the incident. One of them was a candidate running for provincial office(KP)

The atrocity took place hours after the group warned Afghans to stay away from the election offices this Saturday, where people will be picking from a list of eight candidates to replace incumbent President Hamid Karzai.

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` Pentagon took strong exception to `Hamid Karzai’s ‘ comments on Russia’s Annexation of Crimea ‘

#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – 30 March – The Pentagon on Monday took strong exception to the President Hamid Karzai’s recent remarks in support of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a former Ukrainian province.

What I can tell you is it is clearly not helpful,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

At a meeting with a partisan US parliamentary delegation in Kabul over the weekend, President Karzai said Afghanistan “respects the free will of the people of Crimea to decide about their own future.

” Kirby said while Karzai was certainly entitled to his opinion, the US believed Russia was absolutely in violation of international obligations and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“And we continue to call for them (Russians) to remove their troops from Crimea,” the Pentagon spokesman added.

The Fox News said Karzai’s statement was yet another indication of how far his administration had drifted away from the US as the Afghanistan war draws to a close, despite Washington’s past support for his presidency.

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` Afghanistan has ` Freed ‘ 77 of its `Prisoners ‘ despite being warned by Britain and NATO led Troops ‘

#AceWorldNews – Afghanistan freed 77 of its prisoners on Thursday, despite warnings from both Britain and NATO-led troops.

“Insurgents in this group of detainees have caused casualties amongst coalition and Afghan forces,” the NATO-led force in Afghanistan stated, according to Reuters.

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly questioned the detention of prisoners on shaky premises and with no regard for judicial process.

Last month, 65 detainees considered by the US to be dangerous were released.

The Afghan Review Board has been commissioned by Karzai to examine the cases of hundreds of detainees in the care of Afghan authorities.

The majority have already been released on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

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` NATO air strike in `Eastern Afghanistan ‘ kills five `Afghan Soldiers ‘ using US Drones’

#AceWorldNews says that a NATO air strike in eastern Afghanistan accidentally killed five Afghan soldiers on Thursday, officials said, the latest incident likely to worsen already fraught relations between Kabul and the US-led coalition.

NATO offered its condolences over the deaths and vowed action to avoid further mistakes, but President Hamid Karzai has often seized on botched airstrikes to launch bitter criticism of the international military effort in Afghanistan.

“At 3:30am this morning, due to a NATO air strike in Charkh district, Logar province, five service members of the Afghan national army were martyred and eight others were wounded,” defence ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said on his Twitter account.

Khalilullah Kamal, the Charkh district governor, told AFP he had visited the site of the attack, which he said was from a US drone.

“The post is totally destroyed,” he said. “The Americans used to be in that post but since they left, the ANA (Afghan national army) took over. The post is on a hilltop.

The attack was conducted by drones.”

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` Barack Obama has instructed the `Pentagon’ to prepare for removal of troops from Afghanistan by end of 2014′

#AceWorldNews says US President Barack Obama has instructed the Pentagon to acknowledge the likelihood that there will be no US troops remaining in Afghanistan after the year is over.

According to Obama’s order, the Pentagon should “ensure that it has adequate plans in place to accomplish an orderly withdrawal by the end of the year should the United States not keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014,” the White House said in a statement seen by Reuters.

The message was also delivered to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who has shied away from signing a much-debated bilateral security agreement that would allow the US to keep troops in the country for training and anti-terror purposes.

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