South Asia News
Brown congratulates Karzai, welcomes poll cancellation
Nov 2, 2009, 14:44 GMT
London - British Prime Minister Gordon on Monday welcomed the cancellation of the second round run-off in the disputed Afghan poll and congratulated President Hamid Karzai on his re-election, Downing Street said.
The British government welcomed the decision by the Independent Electoral Commission to call off the second ballot following the withdrawal from the race of Karzai's chief rival, Abdullah Abdullah.
'The Prime Minister has spoken to President Karzai to congratulate him on his re-election. They discussed the importance of the president moving quickly to set out a unifying programme for the future of Afghanistan,' a spokesman said.
Officials in London had voiced fears that a second round of voting could have seen a repeat of wide-spread vote rigging while the lives of British soldiers were being put at risk by increased Taliban attacks.