More than ever, Hamid Karzai looks poised for outright victory in Afghanistan’s presidential election. But accusations of irregularities mean the final result may not be known for weeks.
Karzai has 54 percent of the vote, giving him a clear lead over closest rival Abdullah Abdullah, with ballots from 95 percent of polling stations counted. Abdullah, on 28 percent, has alleged massive state-engineered fraud in last month’s vote in favour of a second term for Karzai. Results from 600 polling stations have already been set aside amid suspicions. Electoral officials announced today that more ballots had been quarantined. The United-Nations backed Electoral Complaints Commission says it has found evidence of fraud and ordered a partial recount. Karzai has praised the ballot as honest and impartial.