Afghan President Hamid Karzai was first elected in 2004. His run for reelection this year has been fraught with controversy, complicating deliberations by President Obama over whether to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, U.S. officials have sought to ensure that the government in Kabul is seen as legitimate. The major events:
March 29: The Afghan Supreme Court rules that Karzai should stay in office after his term officially ends May 21 to ensure continuity in the government until elections in August.
Aug. 20: On Election Day, Karzai faces his strongest challenge from former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.
Aug. 23: Abdullah complains of "widespread rigging" of the election.
Sept. 8: A United Nations-backed complaints panel urges a partial recount after finding considerable evidence of election fraud.
Sept. 16: Afghanistan's election commission announces that Karzai won 54.6 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff.
Sept. 21: The Washington Post reports that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, has told Obama that without additional troops, the war there "will likely result in failure."
Sept. 30: U.N. official Peter W. Galbraith is fired after trying to persuade his boss, the U.N. head of mission in Afghanistan, to address allegations of fraud in the election.
Oct. 6: U.N. data show that the official vote counts in some provinces exceeded the estimated number of voters by more than 100,000.
Oct. 20: After discussions with Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Karzai agrees to participate in a runoff.
Nov. 1: Abdullah withdraws from the Nov. 7 runoff, saying there cannot be a fair vote.
Nov. 2: Karzai is declared the winner by the Afghan election commission.
SOURCE: Staff reports