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Afghanistan Has First Provisional Vote Results

6 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan election officials announced today that they have the first provisional results of Afghanistan's parliamentary election.

Officials also said they are excluding 299 polling stations from the vote because of clear signs of fraud. Ballot boxes from another 700 polling stations have been quarantined and are still under investigation.

There are some 27,000 polling stations in the country.

Aleem Siddique, a spokesman for the UN-Afghan Joint Electoral Management Body, today told RFE/RL that provisional results for all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces should be released within the next week.

"With the count completed, we have just announced the provisional results for Nimroz Province and Farrah Province -- both in the south of the country. We expect to be able to announce all provisional results [for all 34 Afghan provinces] within the next seven days. For each province, there will be a five-day period for people to challenge that result. If no complaints are received then the provisional result will be certified by the UN-Afghan electoral body," Siddique said.

Siddique told RFE/RL that election officials hope the results will be finalized by 22 October, but he says it could take until the end of the month.

Warlords and opponents of President Hamid Karzai are among the frontrunners in partial provisional results made available so far.

(With agencies)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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