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Spokesman Says Afghan Leader's Victory Certain

19 October 2004 -- Hamid Karzai's campaign spokesman says the Afghan Transitional Administration chairman is certain to win Afghanistan's presidential election.

With nearly a quarter of the 9 October vote counted so far, electoral officials say Karzai is leading with 61.8 percent.

Karzai's spokesman Hamed Elmi told the Associated Press today that Karzai's team believes he is sure to win a majority of the estimated 8 million votes cast and will be able to avoid a runoff.

Karzai's closest challenger, former Education Minister Yunos Qanuni, refused yesterday to concede defeat and alleged that electoral fraud had given Karzai the advantage.

Qanuni is trailing Karzai with 18.2 percent of the votes counted so far.


[For more on the Afghan elections, see RFE/RL and Radio Free Afghanistan's dedicated "Afghanistan Votes 2004-05" webpage.]