Karzai edges forward in Afghan poll

Independent election commission annuls votes from more than 400 polling stations.

    Abdullah has won about 30 per cent of the vote with about three-quarters of the ballots counted [EPA]

    Officials have already annulled up to 200,000 votes from 447 polling stations - about 0.2 peer cent of the total number of polling stations - because of accusations of ballot stuffing.

    The final tally of votes is expected this week, however, results will still not be confirmed due to the high number of complaints of fraud.

    'Long process'

    James Bays, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Kabul, the Afghan capital, said no adjudications had yet been made on the complaints.

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    "Hamid Karzai is 17 points ahead, but still has only 48.6 per cent of the vote," he reported.

    "In these elections, you need to get over 50 per cent to avoid a run off. We're getting near the end and he is still not over."

    He added that the results were not certain as "the whole process is in dispute".

    "So far we haven't had a single adjudication. So it might be a long process before we get final certified results."

    Bays said that the opposition has complained about the process of releasing a succession of partial results, and that the complaints should be dealt with first.

    "It's still very complex and the political temperature is still very high."

    Mueen Mrastial, an MP for Kunduz on the Karzai campaign team, said: "We were hoping that we would cast the number of 50 or 51 [per cent] today.

    "But we hope the remaining vote [will take us] over 51 per cent by the end of the week."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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