• Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Afghan election set for run-off

BBC Online
An Afghan man breakdances during a gathering celebrating the peaceful elections in Kabul, April 17, 2014. Photo: Reuters file
An Afghan man breakdances during a gathering celebrating the peaceful elections in Kabul, April 17, 2014. Photo: Reuters file

The Afghan presidential election will go to a second round, after no candidate reached the 50% needed for an outright win, preliminary results show.

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah won most votes with 44.9%. Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani came second with 31.5%.

They are now expected to face a run-off vote on May 28.

Final official results are due to be announced on 14 May after a period for adjudication of complaints.

The BBC's David Loyn in Kabul says there are increasing claims of fraud.

Full preliminary results were due two days ago.

The delay has fuelled allegations on all sides that ballot boxes were stuffed and the count was rigged, our correspondent says.

Power-sharing scotched

Abdullah and Ghani could now form a power-sharing deal, or choose to go to a second round.

Before the results were announced, both men promised to fight in a run-off.

"We have not talked or negotiated with anyone about forming a coalition government," Abdullah told reporters on Thursday.

Millions of Afghans defied Taliban threats to take part in the election.

Turnout was double that of the previous presidential election in 2009, despite a number of attacks in the run-up and bad weather on polling day.

The next president will face several challenging issues, including the expected withdrawal of foreign combat troops from Afghanistan later this year and attacks by the Taliban.

Published: 8:42 pm Saturday, April 26, 2014

Last modified: 9:02 pm Saturday, April 26, 2014

TAGS: Afghan election presidential polls second round

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