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Karzai holds slender lead in partial election results

Video by Catherine NICHOLSON

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-26

Incumbent President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan is leading his closest opponent by a margin of just two percent in partial election results announced on Tuesday. Karzai is credited with 40.6 percent of the vote, to Abdullah Abdullah's 38.6 percent.

AFP - Incumbent Hamid Karzai narrowly led the race for the Afghan presidency with just two percent more votes than his closest rival, the election commission announced Tuesday in the first partial results.

The partial results amount to about 10 percent of the total ballots cast in Afghanistan's only second direct presidential election, which was held last Thursday and has been overshadowed by claims of massive fraud.

"From the total 524,444 valid votes, his excellency Hamid Karzai has got 212,927 and his excellency Abdullah Abdullah has 202,889 votes," a spokesman for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) told a news conference.

Those results handed Karzai 40.6 percent of the initial votes announced and Abdullah 38.6 percent.

Ramazan Bashardost, a popular Afghan lawmaker who camps out in a tent near parliament and campaigned against corruption, got 53,740 votes and former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani 15,143 votes, the commission announced.

"I repeat again, this is partial results of about 10 percent of the overall vote," said Daud Najafi, chief electoral officer.

"I repeat again, this will definitely change tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. This is only partial results," he added.

Date created : 2009-08-25

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