Great achievement for Afghans: Hague
KABUL (Pajhwok): British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Saturday welcomed the high turnout for presidential elections in Afghanistan, taking place months before the withdrawal of international troops.
Hague said in a statement: "This is an historic moment for Afghanistan and its people. Across the country, millions of Afghans have been voting for a new president.
“It is a great achievement for the Afghan people that so many voters, men and women, young and old, have turned out in such large numbers, despite threats of violence, to have their say in the country's future.
He stressed: "Now that all the votes have been cast, I hope all parties will show patience and respect while the electoral authorities go to work to count and check the ballots, and declare the results."
If no candidate bags more than 50% of the vote when preliminary results are announced by the Independent Election Commission on April 24, a run-off will be held on May 28.
Over seven million Afghans flocked to polling stations, defying a threat of violence by the Taliban to cast ballots in the nation’s first democratic transfer of power.
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