'Elections runoff' between Abdullah and Ahmadzai
KABUL (Pajhwok): The preliminary results from the April 5 presidential elections show Abdullah Abdullah has garnered the most votes 44.9 percent, followed by Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with 31.5 percent, but none could secure the magic 50 plus one percent to aviod a runoff.
Zalmai Rassoul came in the third place with 11.5 percent, Independent Election Commission head Yousaf Nuristani told reporters in Kabul.
He said Abdullah, a former foreign minister in President Karzai’s previous term, won the most votes but not the majority needed to avoid a runoff.
He said Abdullah had 44.9 percent of the vote and ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai came in second with 31.5 percent.
From the total 6,617,666 cast votes, Abdullah secured 2,973,706, Ahmadzai 2,082,417, Rassoul 759,540, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf 468,340, Eng. Qutbuddin Hilal 180,859, Mohammad Shafiq Gul Agha Sherzai 106,673, Mohammad Daud Sultanzoi 30,737 and Hidayat Amin Arsala received 15,394 votes.
Electoral law requires a runoff between the top two candidates if no one candidate gets a majority. A runoff should be held within 15 days of final results.
Nuristani said it was a preliminary outcome, which would go to the Independent Election Complaints Commission (IECC) to work on it.
As soon as the IECC shared its findings with them, they would announce that, he added.
He said they were prepared if the election went to a second round, which he said was doable.
About seven million people cast their votes in the April 5 presidential elections despite threats from the Taliban.
The preliminary results show a total of 6.8 million votes had been cast in the April 5 elections.
Under the Afghan Constitution, a run-off between two top-rated runners shall take place within two weeks of the final results due on May 14.
Nuristan said that 234,674 votes from 31 provinces polled at 525 polling sites had been thrown out.
The IEC tallied a total of 6,892,816 votes from across the country, showing none of the candidates had secured 3,446,408 votes needed to be declared the winner. He said the IEC had assessed 1,964 electoral sites and recounted votes at 810 sites.
The IEC says about 64 percent male and 36 percent female voters had cast votes in the presidential and provincial council elections.
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