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Afghan Presidential Candidates To Accept Vote Results

Afghan Presidential candidate Yunos Qanuni (file photo) 12 October 2004 -- The crisis surrounding Afghanistan's presidential election appears to have eased after a top rival to Afghan leader Hamid Karzai said he and other candidates were willing to accept the result of the vote after an independent inquiry into charges of fraud.

Mohammad Yunos Qanuni said he did not want to oppose the election but instead wanted to prove to Afghans that his highest interest is the Afghan national interest.

Qanuni and 14 other challengers to Karzai had earlier announced a boycott of last Saturday's vote, saying the system to prevent multiple voting had failed.

The Afghan-United Nations election management body has announced that a panel will investigate irregularities in the vote, and has asked candidates to submit any complaints by this evening.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed what he called the "enthusiastic voter turnout" in the election and said in a statement that the vote gives Afghans an historic opportunity to establish a democratic nation.