Afghanistan presidential challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, who forced Hamid Karzai to go to a second round in the election, has described his triumph as "history in the making" and helped save the country's fragile democracy.
"It was proved. It was a moment of history, it was history in the making and we put one chapter behind us and I think it's important," he told the Sunday Telegraph.
"If democracy survives in this country, this country survives; otherwise it will be back to the dark old days.
The people of this country were denied their votes for three decades, so we should preserve this right," Abdullah a former foreign minister said.
Few believe that 49-year-old Dr Abdullah can win in the final run-off in two weeks' time, but he remained extraordinarily upbeat.
Not only has he had the satisfaction of humbling his rival, believed that perhaps he has saved his nation from a return to civil war.Almost as soon as the polls closed, Abdullah cried foul over fraud; a warning that was confirmed by the UN-backed election commission, which threw out almost a million of the votes cast for his rival.