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Abdullah Leading In Afghan Presidential Vote Count

Afghan presidential frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah
Afghan presidential frontrunner Abdullah Abdullah
Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah is holding an 11-point lead in the latest results from Afghanistan's presidential election released by the Independent Election Commission.

The commission said on April 20 that preliminary results based on almost 50 percent of the vote showed Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent, followed by former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani with 33.2 percent.

Other challengers were far behind.

The final vote count from the April 5 election is due to be released on May 14.

A candidate must secure more than 50 percent of valid ballots to win in the first round. If no candidate reaches this threshold, a runoff is to be held in late May.

The election to choose a replacement for outgoing President Hamid Karzai has been hailed for a high turnout of around 58 percent as well as for the Taliban's failure to carry out any major attacks during the voting.

Officials have warned, however, that the vote appears to have been marred by significant electoral fraud.

But they say the level of fraud appears less than in the 2009 election.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP