The Afghanistan presidential election is set to go to a second round run-off between Abdullah Abdullah (right) and Ashraf Ghani (left), preliminary results showed on Saturday.
A run-off will be held as neither former foreign minister Abdullah nor ex-World Bank economist Ghani won the 50% needed to win the election outright.
Abdullah finished top with 44.9 percent, followed by Ghani with 31.5 percent, the Independent Election Commission said. Zalmay Rassoul was a distant third with 11.5 percent. Final results are due May 14, and a run-off would take place at the end of May.
Both Abdullah and Ghani have vowed to fight on if a run-off is required. A second-round vote could be avoided by negotiations between the candidates in the coming weeks, but Abdullah has dismissed talks of a possible power-sharing deal.
"We have not talked or negotiated with anyone about forming [a] coalition government," he told reporters after Thursday's results were released.
Election day success despite fraud allegations
Eight men competed in the April 5 election, with polling day hailed a success by Afghan officials and foreign allies. The Taliban launched an attack on Kabul's election headquarters ahead of the vote but failed to mount a major attack during the election despite threatening to disrupt the vote.
Hundreds of fraud allegations are still being investigated, however.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
Date created : 2014-04-26