The final result of the presidential election held in Afghanistan over a month ago will be announced on Thursday, a day later than planned because of a high number of voter complaints, the election authorities said. Preliminary results late last month indicated no candidate would emerge with an absolute majority. If final results confirm the initial count, a run-off will be held between the two leading contenders, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani. The final result would be announced on Thursday at 11 am (0630 GMT), IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said. Failure of the complaints commission to submit its final report on time was the reason for the delay. A spokesman for the commission said this was because it had been flooded with an unexpectedly high number of complaints, including over 900 classed serious enough to affect the outcome of the vote. “That’s why it took longer,” said Nader Mohseni said.
This number exceeds the 815 recorded during the previous election held in 2009, when over a million votes were cast out as fraudulent.
A second round of voting was initially scheduled for May 28, but is now expected to be pushed back to mid-June if required. bThe volume of complaints and subsequent delays has not dampened enthusiasm for the democratic process, widely seen as a success because of the high turn-out.
According to the commission’s preliminary results, Abdullah finished top with 44.9 percent, followed by Ghani with 31.5 percent.