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Karzai heads for first round victory in Afghan poll

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Karzai heads for first round victory in Afghan poll

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President Hamid Karzai looks set to avoid a second round run-off in Afghanistan’s disputed presidential election.

The latest partial results showed the Afghan leader had a clear lead over his nearest rival. With more than 99 percent of the votes counted, electoral officials said Karzai had taken over half the poll compared to his main challenger Abdullah Abdullah, who received around 28 percent of the ballot. The preliminary result means Karzai is almost certain to claim victory. However, that could still be challenged by a UN watchdog which said it had found proof of fraud in areas where the president had won overwhelming support.