Afghanistan: Run-off election or Horse-trading?

Abdullah AshrafWith just over 82 percent of the results of the votes announced by the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) last Thursday, no presidential candidate seems to be in a clear position to announce victory. According to IEC Dr Abdullah has secured 43.8 percent (2,564,284) votes and he is leading Dr Ashraf Ghani from 10.9 percent (636,131) votes.

Around 81-100 percent of the election results of 20 provinces have been counted and 20-39 percent election results of 13 provinces are yet to be announced including the 70 percent election results of the Ghazi province.  

Out of seven million ballots, 5,857,442 votes have been counted. 746 complaints ruled by Electoral Complaints Commission may likely affect closer to half a million votes. Dr Abdullah’s 80,000 votes from Herat City have been quarantined for suspected fraud and now nearly 17.5 percent of the votes are left to be announced which means no candidate seems likely win in the first round of the elections with simple majority votes — was predicted on the previous column on this newspaper on 5th of April 2014.

Many suggest that Dr Abdullah may likely bag around 45 percent of the votes, while his political rival Dr Ashraf Ghani will hopefully get about 35 percent of the total votes.   

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