Results from more than 400 Afghan polling stations have been annulled after continuing opposition allegations of ballot-rigging. However, the latest published results show President Hamid Karzai edging towards victory. With three quarters of the votes counted, officials put Karzai at 48 percent and Abdullah Abdullah, his main challenger, at 31 percent.
“We have sufficient evidence of fraud in some polling stations,” said Chief Electoral Officer Daoud Ali Najafi. He also said fraud investigations had been carried out on the ground, which appear to back up a flood of complaints from Karzai’s chief rival, the former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. But despite suspicions, officials say results from some polling stations where every single vote went to Karzai will stand, unless fraud is proven. Afghanistan has been in a state of political limbo since the August 20 election. Results so far show Karzai still just short of the outright majority he needs to avoid a second round. However many uncounted ballots are still to come in from the south, Karzai’s power-base, where returns so far show him with a strong lead. The south is also where many of the fraud allegations originate.