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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid