News

    US Hails Courage of Afghan Voters

    The United States Thursday paid tribute to Afghans who turned out to vote in the country's crucial presidential election despite an intimidation campaign by the Taliban. U.S. officials say it's too early to assess the credibility of the election.

    The United States heavily supported the electoral process with aid and technical assistance. But it declared its strict impartiality in the presidential race, and says it is now up to the Afghan people to decide if the process was credible.

    A U.S. team headed by the Obama administration's special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke was in Kabul to observe the election, which was also monitored by a wide array of non-governmental groups and experts from various countries.

    Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P.J. Crowley said it was too early to assess the overall turnout or make judgments about the fairness of the process, but he said it is clear that Afghans overcame major challenges including insurgent violence to organize and hold the election.

    "Turnout progressively increased throughout the day. I don't think we'll have a sense of turnout for some time. But clearly most polling stations, despite sporadic violence were open despite these threats. We expected that insurgents would try to intimidate the election process. And we're pleased, and admire and respect the courage that Afghans showed coming out to vote today," he said.

    Asked about reported low voter turnout in southern Afghanistan, where fears of Taliban attacks were strongest, Crowley said U.S. officials understand that most polling places there were open despite threats of violence.

    He said with significant violence underway in some areas, the success of the election might have to be judged by a different standard than, for example, elections in the United States and said ultimately the Afghan people will have to judge the credibility of the process.

    "I don't think we're underestimating the difficulty of the challenge, the difficulty of the environment within which this election was held.  Afghanistan is experiencing a war, perhaps more than one. But I think it will be important for Afghan people to make that ultimate determination as to whether this was fair," he added.

    Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a written statement, said the United States did not support or oppose any candidate but wanted a credible, secure and inclusive election that all would judge as legitimate.

    She urged candidates and their supporters to avoid speculation and behave responsibly as election results are awaited.

    Final official tallies are not expected until September. If none of the presidential contenders receives a 50 percent-plus-one share of votes cast, a run-off would be held on October 1.
    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora