News / Asia

    Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

    Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah arrives for an interview with The Associated Press at his residence in Kabul, April 13, 2014.
    Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah arrives for an interview with The Associated Press at his residence in Kabul, April 13, 2014.
    Ayaz Gul
    Fresh partial results from Afghanistan’s April 5 presidential election show former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has slightly increased his lead. Although the percentage of his nearest rival has dropped, election officials say it is too soon to determine whether the election will go to a run-off vote.
     
    The chairman of the Independent Election Commission, Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani, told reporters in Kabul Sunday that his staff has counted about half of the estimated seven million ballots cast on the polling day.
     
    He said of the eight presidential candidates, Abdullah Abdullah remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote, followed by Ashraf Ghani with 33 percent. However, Nouristani refused to speculate on whether the two lead candidates are heading for a run-off.
     
    “We will be able to let you know in a couple of days whether it is really going to second round or not and it is too early to tell,” he said.
     
    A candidate must win more than 50 percent of the vote to be declared the winner in the first round.  

    The winner of the April 5 election will replace President Hamid Karzai who could not run again because of constitutional limits. Final results are due to be released on May 14.
     
    Speaking to Afghan media after the latest vote tally was released, Abdullah sounded confident he will score a first-round victory but said he is ready for a runoff. He emphasized the need for a transparent and fair outcome of the election.   
     
    Abdullah was the runner-up in the 2009 election won by Mr. Karzai amid allegations of irregularities and ballot fraud.

    However, independent Afghan election observers like Nadir Nadery say that this time, the voting process in most of the country was a lot more credible. “Of course, there are irregularities and shortcomings," he said.

    "But when we looked and assessed these irregularities and shortcomings, in no way it undermines the credibility of this election," he added. "There is a process the election is not done by the day of voting itself. The process has institutions involved. Those institutions are now working hard to clean those fraudulent votes if they exist and to address some of the shortcomings. The outcome will be a legitimate one and credible one we are hopeful.”
     
    The estimated 60 percent turnout of 12 million eligible voters despite Taliban threats and violence is being praised by Afghanistan’s international backers.

    Analysts say a smooth transfer of political power - which would be the first in the history of the war-ravaged nation - will play a crucial role in efforts to stabilize the country after the bulk of international forces leave Afghanistan later this year.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    From fast-food restaurants to pizza delivery, the history of take-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Rick Fox from: Nashville, TN
    April 20, 2014 4:59 PM
    This is a real tribute to the Afghan government and to the courage of the Afghan people.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora