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Karzai Says No Coalition If He Wins October Election

Washington, D.C., Sept. 20, 2004 - President Hamed Karzai said today that there will be no coalition government if he wins next month's presidential elections in Afghanistan.

Karzai, who is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly session, spoke with VOA Dari and Pashto reporters and a reporter from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

"I will not form a coalition government under any circumstances," said Karzai. "Anyone and everyone who is qualified and who is willing to work under my platform and approves my platform, is welcomed to participate in the government, but it will not be a coalition government."

In response to a question about the rumors that he has made a deal with presidential candidate Yunus Qanuni, Karzai said, "I have not made a deal and have not talked with Mr. Yunus Qanuni about making a deal. I will not make deals with anyone."

If elected, President Karzai said that education and health will be the two top priorities his post-election government. 'If I lose," he said, "I will respectfully salute whomever wins, and I will step down and ask the nation to follow the winner."

The Voice of America provides 12 hours of programming in Dari ( and Pashto ( to Afghanistan daily. VOA, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U..S. government. VOA broadcasts 1,000 hours of news information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of 96 million people. Programs are produced 44 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 401-7000, or E-mail