KABUL President Hamid Karzai will face his main rival in a run-off election on November 7 after to resolve a disputed first round that plunged Afghanistan into months of political uncertainty.
WAHEED MOZHDAH, AFGHAN ANALYST AND WRITER
"The Taliban will no doubt try their best to disrupt it (run-off). The situation is getting worse in parts of the north, like in the south.
"Given the present situation, I think, it (holding the second round) will be difficult if our intention is for a better and transparent election compared to the first round.
U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON
"We must not repeat what they have done last time," he said, commending Karzai's acceptance of the runoff. Moon said that organizing a second round would be a "huge challenge."
INCUMBENT PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI
"We believe that this decision of the IEC (Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission) is legitimate, legal and constitutional and that it strengthens the path toward democracy."
FAZEL SANGCHARAKI, SPOKESMAN FOR CHALLENGER ABDULLAH ABDULLAH
"We had hoped the president would accept the second round and we are ready and fully prepared for a second round."
U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
"It is now vital that all elements of Afghan society continue to come together to advance democracy, peace and justice. We look forward to a second round of voting, and the completion of the process to choose the president of Afghanistan."
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN
"It is vital that the new Afghan government has legitimacy in the eyes of its people. I have consistently said that the election must be allowed to run its course and that all concerned should respect the process.
"There is no doubt that there have been flaws and we will need to apply the lessons of this process."
U.S. SENATOR JOHN KERRY
"A time of enormous uncertainty has been transformed into a time of great opportunity.
"The international community is committed to carry out this election ... and to make the runoff a success.
"We know it will be difficult and require sacrifice. But we are committed to this effort."
(For more Reuters coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan, see: here)