Hamid Karzai takes office as first elected president of Afghanistan
Tuesday, December 7, 2004
KABUL —Following his win in the presidential election on October 9, Hamid Karzai was sworn in today as the first-ever elected president of Afghanistan.
Although widely hailed as the start of a new era, both Karzai and Afghanistan face difficult challenges ahead. Insurgencies continue and drug lords still control much of the ethnically-divided country. But the peaceful and democratic vote indicates to many that Afghanistan is on the right track.
The Joint Electoral Management Body declared that Mr. Hamid Karzai won 55 percent of the vote in the election. An expert panel, appointed in the aftermath to investigate complaints about improper balloting, verified earlier today that there were shortcomings with the elections. While the panel said the problems that were identified "could not have materially affected the overall result," it hopes the findings will be used to improve the operations of future elections.
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