News / Asia

Partial Afghan Election Results Put Abdullah in Lead

Former Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah speaks during an interview in Kabul April 13, 2014.
Former Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah speaks during an interview in Kabul April 13, 2014.
Ayaz Gul
Preliminary and partial official results from Afghanistan’s April 5 presidential election show a close contest between opposition politician Abdullah Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.   
 
The Afghan Independent Election Commission has counted more than 500,000 votes of the seven million ballots cast. The early figures put Abdullah Abdullah in the lead with nearly 42 percent of the votes counted while his nearest rival, Ashraf Ghani, has about 38 percent.   
 
Announcing the details at a news conference Sunday in Kabul, Commission Chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani cautioned this is not the final result and the frontrunner could change.  He said the initial results are from just 10 percent of the polling stations in 26 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul April 13, 2014.Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul April 13, 2014.
x
Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul April 13, 2014.
Former finance minister Ashraf Ghani speaks during a news conference in Kabul April 13, 2014.


Afghan officials also acknowledge that recorded incidents of serious fraud have exceeded figures for the 2009 presidential election when more than a million votes were canceled.  Nuristani says his commission is determined to address the issue.  
 
He said there is no doubt fraud has taken place in many parts and the Independent Election commission is firmly committed to resolve the issue within its authority and present only those results that are free of fraud.
 
Nuristani vowed to do so in a transparent and open manner in the presence of media, election observers and representatives of the candidates.
 
He emphasized the primary job of investigating irregularities and fraudulent votes lies with the country’s Independent Election Complaints Commission.
 
There could be a runoff election between Abdullah and Ghani if neither gains more than 50 percent of the vote when the final results are announced on May 14.  

The initial results show a third candidate running with the support of President Hamid Karzai’s brothers - Zalmai Rassoul - trails far behind with nearly 10 percent of the votes counted.  

Speaking to reporters, presidential candidate Ghani said the lead Abdullah has at this stage is not significant.

“We are in a hundred minute (football) game and we have only down with ten minutes," Ghani said. "So, as Chairman Nuristani said the results will change every day, every two days, three days.”

The international community is praising the high turnout of an estimated 60 percent of the 12 million eligible Afghan voters in the April 5 balloting, there are fears the evidence of widespread fraud could undermine the legitimacy of the election seen crucial for Afghanistan’s future stability.  
 
The winning candidate will replace President Hamid Karzai who has been leading the country for more than 12 years and could not run again because of constitutional limits.  The political transition will be the first democratic transfer of power in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
 
The United Nations welcomed Sunday’s announcement of the first batch of partial results as a further step towards completing the election process,  while noting the figures represent only a small portion of the millions of ballots cast.

A statement from the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan cautioned that until the final results are announced by election authorities, “stakeholders should be careful in drawing premature conclusions so as not to create inaccurate expectations.”

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs