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Abdullah Abdullah leads in Afghanistan ballot count
April 20, 2014, 11:25 pm

Presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah is in lead as 49.75 per cent of votes have been counted, election commission chief Mohammad Yusuf Nuristani said at a press conference on Saturday [Xinhua]

Presidential hopeful Abdullah Abdullah is in lead as 49.75 per cent of votes have been counted, election commission chief Mohammad Yusuf Nuristani said at a press conference on Saturday [Xinhua]


Two weeks after seven million people – braving the heavy rain and threat of Taliban violence – voted in presidential and provincial elections at more than 6,300 polling stations throughout Afghanistan, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has released early figures from a tally of only 49.75 per cent of the cast ballots.

IEC chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani said on Saturday that presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, a former commander in the now defunct Northern Alliance and a former foreign minister in the years after the 2001 US invasion, had extended his lead over the closest rival by 11 percentage points.

The figures showed that Abdullah is leading with 44.4 per cent of the vote compared to 33 per cent for Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister. In third place is Zalmai Rassoul with 10 per cent of the vote so far.

The preliminary results will be announced on April 28. In the meantime, the Commission says it is ready to hold a runoff election should no candidate achieve 50+1 in the results.

The winner will replace Hamid Karzai, who has been president since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban.

Meanwhile, in Faryab province some 425km northwest of Kabul, three Taliban fighters were killed in a clash with security forces that left another seven people wounded.

Source: Agencies

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