Afghans vote for new president - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Afghans vote for new president

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Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah holds up his ink-stained finger after voting on Saturday. (Source: CBS). Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah holds up his ink-stained finger after voting on Saturday. (Source: CBS).

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (CBS) - Afghans headed to the polls on Saturday in a presidential runoff between two candidates who both promise to improve ties with the West and combat corruption as they confront a powerful Taliban insurgency and preside over the withdrawal of foreign troops.

The runoff is between former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank official and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Neither secured the 50 percent margin needed to win in the first round of voting on April 5.

The two candidates, whose differences lie more in personality than in policy, each say they would sign a long-delayed security pact with the United States.

That would allow nearly 10,000 American troops to remain in the country for two more years to conduct counter-terrorism operations and continue training and advising the ill-prepared Afghan army and police.

Security was tightened ahead of the vote, with security forces erecting new checkpoints, searching cars and banning trucks from the streets of the capital after the Taliban warned people to stay away from the polls.

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah arrived at a polling station, voted and held up his ink-stained finger.

"We promise the people of Afghanistan that their future is guaranteed. Their future is assured with our team, which is a team from the people of Afghanistan and for the people of Afghanistan and for the future of this country," he said.

Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai also voted and then addressed onlookers and the media.

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