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Karzai totals 54.62% of vote in Afghan presidential election

RIA Novosti

20:01 16/09/2009 KABUL, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - With all the ballots counted, the Afghan Central Election Commission said Wednesday that incumbent President Hamid Karzai garnered 54.62% of the vote in the August 20 elections.

Chief electoral officer Daud Najafi said the winner of the presidential race will be announced only after the commission investigating vote irregularities has completed its work. A large number of complaints have been filed with the commission, and more than 200,000 ballots have already been rejected.

Najafi said 5,662,758 million valid ballots were cast, with Karzai receiving 3,093,256 votes against 1,571,581 (27.75%) for his nearest rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. Ramazan Bashardost came third with 520,627 votes (9.1%).

Turnout was 38.7% of the 15,295,016 eligible voters.

The election official said other details of the counting process, including the number of polling stations expected to be checked by the complaints commission, could not be announced immediately due to technical difficulties.

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