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Count underway in Afghan presidential runoff

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Count underway in Afghan presidential runoff


The count is underway in Afghanistan in the second round of the presidential election, the result of which should be known in 18 days.

Officials are already claiming turnout is around seven million of Afghanistan’s 12 million eligible voters, but one of the presidential candidates, the frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah, contests this. There are reports of many deserted polling stations due to threats of Taliban violence, particularly in rural areas.

Although 150 attacks were recorded on or near polling stations, killing 46 people, the Afghan army deployed in advance and seemed to have organised well enough to have prevented mass disruption of the vote.

Ashraf Ghani trailed Abdullah by some 15 percent after the first round, but the former World Bank economist is not giving up. He has called for a clean vote, and both he and Abdullah have been critical of election officials.

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