[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Afghan election run-off looks likely

Abdullah Abdullah is in the lead as votes are tallied in presidential election, but a clear winner seems unlikely.

Last updated: 24 Apr 2014 22:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Abdullah is ahead of Ghani but to secure a win the candidate must secure 50 percent of the vote [Reuters]

Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan's former foreign minister, has been leading over rival Ashraf Ghani in Afghan presidential election results but remains below the fifty percent threshold needed for victory.

Thursday’s results showed Abdullah with 43.8 percent of the vote and Ghani with 32.9 percent, election officials said.

Only 80 percent of the votes have been counted so far. 

To win, a candidate must secure more than 50 percent of votes. Failing that, the top two candidates will go into a run-off.

As the estimated seven million votes are tallied a discernible winner seems unlikely.

"With the percentage of votes (still to be counted), I suspect there will not be a winner in the first round, but I cannot say decisively," Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, head of the Independent Election Commission, said.

Both Abdullah and Ghani, a former World Bank economist, have vowed to push on.

Fraud allegations

Despite a seemingly hopeful electoral process, the election has been tainted with allegations of widespread fraud.

Hundreds of complaints are being investigated after the poll to determine a successor for US-backed Hamid Karzai, who governed the country after the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001.

This is not the only time fraud has plagued Afghan polls. The 2009 election that brought Karzai to power was marred by fraud allegations, shaking confidence in the effort to develop Afghanistan while also undermining relations with the United States.

The election winner will not only have to push Afghanistan’s post-conflict development, but also oversee a long fight against a resilient Taliban insurgency as 51,000 US-led combat troops leave the country this year. 

263

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list