Thursday, Jun 4, 2015Thursday, Jun 4, 2015

Abdullah widens lead in Afghan presidential poll

Published on Apr 21, 2014 12:28 AM
Afghan Presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah shows his inked finger as he casts his vote at a local polling station in Kabul on April 5, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 

KABUL (AFP) - Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah is well ahead of his main rival in Afghanistan's presidential election, officials said on Sunday after half of the ballots were counted, though a run-off vote still looks likely next month.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced that Mr Abdullah was in the lead with 44.4 per cent followed by former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani with 33.2 per cent of the votes counted so far from the April 5 election.

If no candidate gains more than 50 per cent, a second-round election between the two leading names is tentatively scheduled for May 28.

Hundreds of serious fraud allegations are being investigated after the eight-candidate election to succeed Mr Hamid Karzai, who has ruled Afghanistan since the Islamist Taleban regime was ousted in 2001.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!