Karzai retains lead in Afghan presidential elections

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hamid Karzai in 2006
Image: Paul Morse, Executive Office of the President of the United States.
Abdullah Abdullah in 2004
Image: R. D. Ward, U.S. DoD.

Hamid Karzai, the incumbent candidate in Afghanistan's presidential elections, has continued to maintain a lead, having 54.3% of the ballot, latest results indicate.

He is well ahead of the second-place candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, who has 28.1% of the vote.

The United Nation mission in Afghanistan was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that there are "no winners" yet.

The voting count has been delayed by accusations of voting fraud and ballot stuffing. The Election Complaints Commission (ECC) had ordered votes to be recounted at polling stations where one of the candidates received a very high percentage of votes, or where voter turnout was over 600.

Approximately 200,000 votes have been discounted from 447 polling stations so far by the commission.

If neither Karzai or Abdullah receive at least fifty percent of the final ballot, a run-off election is to be held.