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Afghan Election Runner-Up Vows Cooperation


Presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani talk with outgoing President Hamid Karzai during a September 21 ceremony to form a unity government in Kabul.

Presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah (left) and Ashraf Ghani talk with outgoing President Hamid Karzai during a September 21 ceremony to form a unity government in Kabul.

The runner-up in Afghanistan's disputed election, Abdullah Abdullah, has congratulated his rival, Ashraf Ghani, on becoming president.

In his first public address since Ghani, a former finance minister, was declared the winner on September 21, Abdullah, who is a former foreign minister, told his supporters he had to accept a deal to avoid violence for the sake of the people.

Ghani is due to be inaugurated on September 29.

Neither Ghani nor Abdullah won enough votes in a first round in April to win outright, so they had to contest a run-off vote in June.

But Abdullah initially refused to accept the result, complaining of fraud and raising fears for political stability.

Under the terms of a U.S.-brokered power-sharing deal with Ghani, Abdullah is expected to take up the role of chief executive and share responsibility for key decisions and appointments with the president.

With additional reporting by Reuters and AFP
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