Ghani thanked Indian govt for wishes on his victory

Kabul: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday thanked the Indian government for a congratulatory message on his victory in the presidential election.

“As a friend, neighbor and the world’s largest democracy, thank you India for fully supporting Afghanistan’s democratic process!” tweeted Ghani.

In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that the new government and all political leaders in Afghanistan should work to strengthen national unity. Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) had on Monday announced a slim victory for Ghani in the elections held in September.

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The votes were held last September amid a record number of Taliban attacks aimed at disrupting the electoral process. The results were announced after weeks of assessment by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) after it completed the partial audit of the 300,000 disputed votes.

“We congratulate President Ashraf Ghani on his re-election following the announcement of final results of the Presidential elections by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan,” said the MEA.

“India supports the democratic aspirations of the people of Afghanistan and remains committed to continuing to work with the new Government and the democratic polity in strengthening our bilateral strategic partnership in fighting the scourge of externally sponsored terrorism and for an enduring and inclusive national peace and reconciliation which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan controlled,” it added.

The preliminary results of the September votes were announced in December. Ghani was narrowly declared the winner while Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah got 39 percent of a total of over 1.8 million votes.

However, opposition parties immediately protested the result, threatening a full-blown political crisis on the cusp of a United States peace deal with the Taliban. The IEC conducted the assessments of votes and announced the results earlier this week declaring Ghani as the winner.

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