KABUL: Afghanistan’s presidential election result has been delayed by two days due to fraud investigations and will now be released on Saturday, officials said yesterday as they vowed to sift out fake votes.
Partial results from the April 5 election to succeed President Hamid Karzai have already been released, with former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah ahead of his main rival Ashraf Ghani after half of the ballots were counted.
Hundreds of serious fraud allegations are being probed in an attempt to ensure a cleaner election than in 2009, when Karzai retained power in a vote marred by rampant cheating.
“Committed to determining results that reflect the will of Afghan voters, the IEC is conducting thorough investigations of all irregularities,” the Independent Election Commission said in a press release.
“While these investigations have delayed the process slightly, they are critical to the accuracy and integrity of final results.”
The latest partial results put Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent followed by former World Bank economist Ghani on 33.2 percent.
If no candidate gains more than 50 percent, a second-round election between the two leading names is tentatively scheduled for May 28.