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Karzai defends conduct of election in Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Afghan president Hamid Karzai speaks during a joint press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende, unseen, at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009. After seven years in office, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's star is rapidly waning in Washington, with President Barack Obama saying Afghanistan's government is detached from the surrounding communities it is supposed to serve. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai is acknowledging irregularities in the presidential election while arguing that balloting generally was "good and fair and worthy of praise, not scorn."

Interviewed from Kabul Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Karzai declined to say how many additional U.S. forces should be sent in. But he said he's "fully behind" commanding Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who reportedly asked for up to 40,000 more fighting forces.

On the hotly disputed Aug. 20 election, Karzai said people around the world should not turn "the election of the Afghan people into the nightmare of the Afghan people." Preliminary results show he won with 54.6 percent, but a pending recount could push down those numbers and force a runoff with former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.


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