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Vote Tally in Three Kabul Precincts Shows Karzai Leading

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Initial results from three voting districts in Thursday's presidential election in Afghanistan have incumbent President Hamid Karzai in the lead.

VOA on Friday visited three districts - all in affluent areas of the capital Kabul - where election officials were counting votes by hand to get a sampling of how the voting went.

The initial tally showed Mr. Karzai winning in two of the districts, including a district near the Kabul Zoo where he went to high school.

But in the third district, where Mr. Karzai's wife cast her ballot, the incumbent president lost to former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani placed third in all three voting districts, while Ramazan Bashardost, a popular lawmaker from Kabul, was in fourth.

The count in the three districts also showed Mr. Karzai was short of the 50 percent of the vote needed to avoid a run-off election.  Afghans voted in more than 6,000 polling stations.

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