Afghanistan's Abdullah leads in partial vote count
Iran Press TV
Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:58PM GMT
Latest partial counts from Afghanistan show that former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah is leading the presidential vote.
Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) announced that with almost half the votes counted, Abdullah has won over 44 percent.
His main rival Ashraf Ghani has gained more than 33 percent while Zalmai Rassoul stands third with over 10 percent.
'These statistics that we shared with you are partial and are changeable,' Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, chairman of the election commission, told a press briefing in Kabul on Sunday.
Abdullah, speaking in an interview shortly after the results were announced, said he still thinks it's possible for him to avoid a runoff altogether.
However, the former foreign minister emphasized that he was ready for a second round.
"It's important that the process is a free and fair one. That is important. Then if it goes to the second round in accordance to the rule of law, we are ready for that as well. At this stage, we believe that another round might not be needed," Abdullah said.
Meanwhile, a supervisory body of Afghanistan's election said it has received hundreds of reports of violations related to the presidential vote.
An estimated seven million Afghans went to the polls on April 5 to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai who has been in office for two terms.
The election was held amid tight security in 6,000 polling stations across Afghanistan. Taliban militants had pledged to disrupt the balloting, warning the people against voting.
The elections came ahead of the planned 2014 withdrawal of US-led foreign troops from Afghanistan.
Violence continues to plague Afghanistan despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces, more than 12 years after the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
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