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Live Blog: Afghanistan Presidential Election 2014

20:34 5.4.2014
Here's a final summary of today's historic presidential vote. Thanks for following with us today.

- Polling stations have officially closed. There have been complaints throughout the country of ballot shortages and long lines amid higher than expected turnout.

- According to preliminary estimates by Afghanistan's election commissioner, 7 million out of 12 million Afghans cast a vote (58 percent). If these numbers hold, they would be a vast improvement over 2009, when one-third of eligible voters participated.

- Preliminary results from the first round are not expected until April 24.

- According to the Afghanistan Interior Ministry nine police, seven Afghan army members and 89 insurgents were killed on election day. Four civilians were killed and 43 were injured.

- The Taliban had promised to disrupt the vote and there were fears of widespread violence, but there were no large-scale attacks. Around 352,000 security forces were deployed nationwide to provide security.

- Among the eight candidates, the front-runners are former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani and two former foreign ministers, Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmai Rasul.

- To win, a candidate must secure more than 50 percent of the vote. Otherwise, there will be a runoff between the top two candidates on May 28. Observers say a second round is very likely.

- The presidential vote took place on the same day as provincial council elections in each of the country’s 34 provinces.

All times are Kabul local time.
19:52 5.4.2014
19:40 5.4.2014
Frud Bezhan writes about the problems with ballot shortages today, which were reported in as many as 15 of the country's 34 provinces. The limits on ballots was meant to prevent fraud, but some worry that the shortages could detract from the legitimacy of the vote.
19:28 5.4.2014
Afghan Election Commission chief estimates 58 percent turnout
Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani estimated that 7 million of a possible 12 million voters had cast ballots. He said the estimates were based on preliminary figures.

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