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Afghan Election Results Due Out Wednesday

An Afghan election worker carries ballot boxes at the warehouse of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission in Kabul, Afghanistan (File)

Afghan officials say they will announce the final results of the country's September parliamentary election on Wednesday.

The vote was held on September 18, but the results have been withheld pending investigations into thousands of complaints of fraud.

Election officials have invalidated nearly a quarter of the 5.6 million votes cast and disqualified 19 candidates who were initially declared winners.

The vote for the 249-seat parliament has been closely watched by Afghanistan's Western allies for signs that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is committed to reforming his corruption-ridden government.

Final results were originally set for release in October, but were delayed as the United Nations-backed Electoral Complaints Commission processed some 5,000 complaints. Allegations included reports of intimidation and coercion of voters by local warlords, ballot-stuffing, repeat voting and the use of fake voter identification cards.

Fraud also marred last year's presidential vote in Afghanistan. Roughly one-third of the votes cast for President Karzai were thrown out by the Electoral Complaints Commission.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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