Share This Page

Ex-foreign minister in front in Afghan election; early results portend runoff

| Sunday, April 13, 2014, 6:39 p.m.
REUTERS
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah speaks during an interview in Kabul April 13, 2014. Former opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah led on Sunday after the first official results from Afghanistan's presidential election, but recorded incidents of serious fraud exceed figures for 2009, when over a million suspect votes were thrown out. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: ELECTIONS POLITICS)

KABUL — In the first partial results from Afghanistan's presidential election, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has emerged as the early leader, but he is far from crossing the 50 percent vote threshold needed to win outright, according to the country's election commission.

Eight days after Afghans took to the polls, election officials are still counting votes and investigating claims of fraud. On Sunday, Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, the chief of the Independent Election Commission, announced the first official results, based on about 10 percent of the votes from 26 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces.

Abdullah received 41.9 percent of those votes. The next closest candidate was Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister and World Bank executive, with 37.6 percent. Zalmay Rassoul, a candidate who was considered the favorite of outgoing President Hamid Karzai, was running a distant third with 9.8 percent.

The results are far from definitive.

Nuristani said the totals represent more than 500,000 votes out of an estimated 7 million cast. In the next several days, officials intend to release the results piecemeal, with the final tally arriving next month.

If the early indications bear out, the next step would be a runoff between the top two finishers — Abdullah and Ghani — although Afghan and Western officials have raised the possibility that the candidates could make a deal among themselves and avoid a second round of voting.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.