Early results in Afghanistan’s presidential election put the incumbent Hamid Karzai marginally in front of his former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah.
With only 10 percent of ballot papers counted, Karzai has 40.6 percent of the vote. Abdullah trails by less than two percent. Candidates need more than 50 percent to avoid a second round and win outright. Announcing the partial scores, the head of the Afghan electoral commission asked candidates, their campaign teams and the media to refrain from speculating on further results. The electoral commission is in possession of 95 percent of all the ballots cast and these are being counted in Kabul. It is still waiting for ballots from Helmand and Badakhshan provinces. Final results are expected to take several weeks.