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Preliminary Results Show Karzai Leads Afghan Presidential Elections - 2004-10-15

Preliminary results from Afghanistan's Presidential election show interim President Hamid Karzai is in the lead, with former Education Minister Younus Qanooni in second.

The latest official results give Mr. Karzai 56% of the vote with less than 1% of the estimated eight million ballots counted.

Mr. Qanooni is in second with 17% and ethnic Uzbek General Abdul Rashid Dostum is in third place with 15%.

Afghan election law requires the winner to get at least 51% of the vote or face a runoff with the second place finisher.

Election officials said almost all of the ballot boxes have arrived at the eight regional counting centers. The start of Ramadan halted counting for Friday, but the tally is expected to resume on Saturday.