|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
December 9, 2004
From the Department of Defense
Three years ago, Afghanistan was ruled by the Taliban. Today, it has a democratically elected representative government, and Hamid Karzai is the country's first popularly elected president.
More than 8 million voters turned out on Election Day in Afghanistan on October 9. Forty percent of registered voters were women, and a woman ran for president.
The presidential election, the Dec. 7 inauguration, and the parliamentary elections scheduled for the spring represent important steps forward for moderates, for the principle of fairness to all elements, and for opportunities for all Afghan people.
The Afghan people and coalition forces are working to create a stable and secure environment that will help ensure Afghanistan is no longer a staging base for terrorism.
The coalition will increase pressure on Taliban and al Qaeda remnants over the winter to improve security.