Karzai Sworn in for Second Term – Promises to Clean Things Up in Inauguration Speech

November 19, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Tainted Afghan President Hamid Karzai was sworn in for his second term on Thursday. This will be the second five-year term for the controversial figure whose first term was haunted by accusations of corruption, followed by his disputed victory in fraud-marred presidential elections.  Karzai was proclaimed the winner after his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from a runoff election.
In a 30-minute acceptance speech in the presidential palace, Karzai promised that the Afghan Army would control the country within five years, saying “We will decrease the role of international forces.” He also placed national reconciliation at the top of its peace-building policy and invited insurgent fighters to lay down their arms and said he would convene a grand council to promote peace. Hillary Clinton, was in Afghanistan on Wednesday and warned Karzai that future civilian aid to his government would depend on his effectiveness in curbing corruption. Karzai said he will push for a new law that would require all senior officials, especially ministers, governors and deputy ministers, to declare their property and assets. And he would convene a conference in Kabul to generate new ideas for fighting corruption, all apparently said with a straight face. Meanwhile new allegations have come forward, that the Afghan minister of mines, Mohammad Ibrahim Adel, accepted roughly a $30 million bribe to award the country’s largest development project to a Chinese mining firm. Rich in copper, iron, marble, gold and gemstones, the mining sector could become a major source of revenue for Afghanistan, but no major mines are functioning of yet, because widespread corruption makes it nearly impossible to do business in the war torn country.


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