Poll officials scrapped the planned second round of the Afghan presidential election, and declared Hamid Karzai (right on the photo, from aljazeera.net) the elected president.
The day before the Independent Election Commission announcement, Karzai’s sole challenger pulled out of the race.
After demanding key poll officials to quit, Abdullah Abdullah said he did not think it would be a free and fair vote.
Last August, the first round of the vote was marred by mass electoral fraud.
“We declare Hamid Karzai, which [sic] got the majority of votes in the first round and is the only candidate for the second round of the election in Afghanistan in 2009… is the elected president of Afghanistan,” said a spokesman for the Independent Election Commission in a news conference.
He added that the second round was being scrapped in order to save money and to prevent further setbacks that could damage Afghanistan politically and economically.
As he gained more votes in the first round on 20 August, president Karzai had been the favourite to win the run-off.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Kabul earlier on Monday, where he met with Karzai and Abdullah. Ban Ki-moon said Afghanistan’s troubled election had been among “the most difficult the United Nations has ever supported”.