News / Asia

US Hails Afghan Elections

US Hails Afghan Electionsi
X
Michael Bowman
April 06, 2014 8:29 PM
President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are hailing Saturday’s elections in Afghanistan, which are expected to produce the country’s first-ever democratic transfer of power. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, although Afghanistan’s next president may not be known for weeks, the Obama administration hopes the new leader will finalize a bilateral security agreement to keep a residual U.S. military presence in the country.
Michael Bowman
President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are hailing Saturday’s elections in Afghanistan, which are expected to produce the country’s first-ever democratic transfer of power. Although Afghanistan’s next president may not be known for weeks, the Obama administration hopes the new leader will finalize a bilateral security agreement to keep a residual U.S. military presence in the country.
 
Ballot counting continues after Afghans braved threats of violence to go to the polls in record numbers. Presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani said the poll showed one thing.
 
"We have proven that we are people of the ballot, not of the bullets.  The Afghan public appreciates democracy, believes in it and is willing to make it work,” said Ghani.
 
Sporadic complaints of voting irregularities do not appear to have shaken Afghans’ faith in the democratic exercise, said presidential contender Abdullah Abdullah.
 
"We have registered our complaints, we have processed those complaints and referred it to the relevant commission, which is the Independent Election Complaints Commission, and hopefully those complaints will be dealt with duly," said Abdullah.
 
At more than 12 years, the Afghan war is America’s longest.  President Obama pledged to bring it to an end while preserving hard-fought gains in the country.  The administration views a successful transfer of power overseen by increasingly capable Afghan security forces as validation of their surge-and-withdraw strategy.  White House spokesman Josh Earnest spoke of the importance of continued support for Afghanistan.
 
“This is a little bit different than most elections that are conducted in the U.S. in which we find out the results that night or the next day.  But at the same time, we are hopeful that the elections will be peaceful and inclusive and broadly acceptable to the Afghan people.  A stable and acceptable political transition is critical to sustaining international support for Afghanistan,” said Earnest.
 
Unlike outgoing President Hamid Karzai, all Afghan presidential contenders have said they would sign a bilateral security agreement with the United States to keep several thousand military personnel in the country, primarily in a train-and-advise capacity.  Democratic Senator Tim Kaine backs the drawdown of U.S. forces, but says progress must not be squandered.
 
"There have been nearly 2,300 [U.S.] servicemembers who have given their lives in Afghanistan.  And the United States has spent $600 billion in Afghanistan.  While we cannot gloss over the challenges that remain in Afghanistan today and tomorrow, we should remember the progress that has been achieved in 13 years since the Taliban fell in October of 2001," said Kaine.
 
For now, from the White House to Capitol Hill, an almost audible sigh of relief can be heard that Afghanistan’s elections went forward with minimal violence, and that the country appears on track to have a president-elect declared by next month.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Five-Nation Tour to Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of state will visit Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam to discuss security issues, Iran nuclear deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: markjuliansmith from: Australia
April 06, 2014 5:48 PM
"US Hails Afghan Elections"

Such hope is wasted on behalf of any Westerner or even the so called moderate Muslim believing 'Democracy' or Western philosophical notions of ‘Freedom’ have arrived in Afghanistan.

As we can see in Turkey and Egypt alone disregarding what the underlying politic in time and space Islam as the foundation cultural ethic informs elsewhere you Change the Architect and Builder or Nothing Changes.

Even if the ‘Democratic’ ballot box survives for a few generations it can and will if Islam remains in the Public Square be a means to enable theocratic tyranny rather than Western notions of liberty with major schism as in Egypt and developing in Turkey.

This is the reality, taking this one ‘hopeful’ sign as reason to celebrate clearly indicates excessive wishful thinking and future bias.

Change the Architect and Builder or Nothing Changes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs