Afghan election likely to go to second round
By Zubair Babakarkhail, Thursday, April 24, 2014
KABUL, Afghanistan - After the results of more than 82 percent of votes that were cast on April 5th in the presidential election, it is likely that the election will go for a run-off round, Afghan officials said today.
"When we read the percentages, I do not think someone will win in the first round," said Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, head of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan.
He said that the presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah Abdullah has 43.7 percent of votes so far, Dr. Ashraf Ghani has won 32.9 percent and Dr. Zalmai Rasoul has 11.7 percent of the votes -- these results are from 82.59 percent of votes so far, he added.
According to Afghanistan's election laws, if none of the candidates gets 51 percentage of the votes, there will be a runoff between the top two candidates.
The law also suggests that the run-off polling must take place within two weeks after the final announcement of the results. According to the timeline of the election, the election commission has to announce the full preliminary results of the presidential polls today, however, it is scheduled for April 26.
"To have accurate and transparent results, we needed to take two more days," Nooristani added.
He said that the votes for 1,719 polling stations have officially been audited and the recount of 789 polling stations have started.
"We are pledged to the commitment that we have made to the people of Afghanistan, to transfer their votes to its owner who in a difficult security and climate came out and voted," he said.
The full preliminary results will be announced on Saturday.
Eight presidential contenders participated in the April 5th elections; former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and former finance minister Dr. Ashraf Ghani are the top two on the list so far.
The election commission has said that around 7 million people voted on election day.
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