KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai is ahead of his key challenger Dr. Abdullah Abdullah in preliminary results of the presidential elections announced here on Tuesday.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said the incumbent had 40.6 percent in the initial official returns. As expected, Abdullah follows Karzai with 38.7 percent of the votes counted so far.
Only 10 percent of ballots had been calculated, the IEC secretary explained, revealing 21170 of the 555842 votes were found invalid. As many as 10228 ballots were cast for candidates who opted out of the race.
Daud Ali Najafi told journalists Karzai had bagged 212,927 votes, Dr. Abdullah 202,889, Ramazan Bashardost 53,740, Dr. Ashraf Ghani 15,143, Mirwais Yasini 4,325, Habib Mangal 2,892 and Ferozan Fana 2,527.
Of those tallied so far, around 19,951 votes went to the rest of presidential hopefuls, according to Najafi, who said the commission would release partial results on a daily basis over the next several days.
The final outcome would be unveiled in mid-September.