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Karzai to unveil plans Tuesday, Clinton encouraged
October 19, 2009 / 8:01 PM / in 8 years

Karzai to unveil plans Tuesday, Clinton encouraged

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai will announce on Tuesday how he plans to proceed in the Afghan elections, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, adding she was encouraged by the direction of events.

Clinton said she did not wish to preempt Karzai’s announcement but her comments suggested she expected the Afghan president to accept a run-off in the August 20 election, which has been marred by allegations of widespread fraud.

“He is going to announce his intentions. I am going to let him do that but I am encouraged at the direction that the situation is moving,” Clinton told reporters.

“I am very hopeful that we will see a resolution in line with the constitutional order in the next several days.”

International observers called for an election run-off in Afghanistan after a U.N.-backed fraud watchdog on Monday invalidated tens of thousands of votes for Karzai.

The disputed election has fanned tensions between Karzai and Western governments whose troops are fighting a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.

The protracted voting process has complicated U.S. President Barack Obama’s deliberations on whether to send thousands more troops to turn the tide in the eight-year war.

Clinton said she believed it was possible to hold a second round of voting before winter sets in. If the election is not concluded by winter, this would extend the political uncertainty in Afghanistan.

Editing by John O'Callaghan

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