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Afghan president says opponents welcome in govt

Afghanistan

Presidential candidate and current President Hamid Karzai, right, greets his supportera during an election rally in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, July 24, 2009. Afghanistan's president shook hands and roused supporters Friday with promises to hold international troops more accountable during his first campaign rally in the capital (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

KABUL (AP) - Afghanistan's president is welcoming his re-election by default. And he's reaching out to opponents.

Hamid Karzai is promising to create a government of national participation and banish corruption that has undermined his administration.

Karzai spoke a day after he was declared victor of an election so marred by fraud that his opponent dropped out of a planned runoff because he said it could not be free or fair.

Karzai says he wants people from every part of the country in his government, including Taliban who are ready to cooperate with the administration and political opponents. But he never mentioned his former challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, by name.

The Taliban claimed their own victory. They say the canceled runoff showed their efforts to derail the vote by threats and attacks were successful.


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