A Complex Electorate Casts Its Ballots
THE RUNOFF CANDIDATES| Read full bios, including those of contenders in the first round »
President Hamid Karzai and his chief rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, were to be the only two candidates in a Nov. 7 runoff election. However, Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission canceled the second round of voting after Abdullah withdrew from the race.
Karzai declared election victor
Afghan election officials canceled a presidential runoff scheduled for Nov. 7 and declared President Hamid Karzai the winner, a day after his top challenger said he would not participate. Abdullah had demanded major changes to guard against a repetition of the widespread fraud found to have marred the August vote. | Photos
ABOUT THIS ELECTION
Millions of Afghans went to the polls on Aug. 20, 2009, for the nation's second presidential election since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. Despite Taliban threats, the election was relatively peaceful and orderly. However, after two months of political turmoil, Afghanistan's election commission ordered a runoff election for Nov. 7 after a fraud investigation invalidated nearly a million of President Hamid Karzai's votes. Days before the scheduled vote, Karzai's top rival withdrew and Karzai was declared the winner.
WHO ARE THE VOTERS
Afghanistan's electorate is largely illiterate, lives in remote areas and riven by deep ethnic divisions.
Photos: Aug. 20 Vote
Voters and Violence
The AfPak War
Afghan Media Coverage
How Does a Polling Station Work?
This poster distributed by UNDP/ELECT outlines the polling process in pictures, since only 28 percent of the population is literate. More Election Materials »