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Karzai accepts run-off presidential ballot

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Karzai accepts run-off presidential ballot

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he is willing to accept a second round run-off presidential ballot.

The country’s Independent Election Commission says the poll must take place on November 7. The announcement comes a day after a UN election watchdog said it had found clear evidence of fraud in a presidential poll held in August. After the fraudulent ballots had been discounted, Karzai’s total was reduced to below 50 percent. The main rival in the run-off will be former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, who has also accepted the commission’s ruling. The breakthrough comes after hours of closed-door meetings with western diplomats and amid mounting international pressure. Observers say weeks of political uncertainty have made a resurgent Taliban bolder.