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Karzai Wins Majority In Afghan Election

24 October 2004 -- According to preliminary results, interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai has won a majority of estimated votes cast in Afghanistan's presidential election.

However, Karzai has not been declared the winner. An expert panel is still reviewing allegations of electoral fraud leveled by other candidates, and it may take another week for the announcement of official results.

According to the results released today, Karzai has won more than half of the estimated valid votes cast in the 9 October vote. He must get more than 50 percent to win the election outright and avoid a runoff against his closest challenger.

Some 7,473,059 valid votes have been counted so far, with Karzai currently at 54.9 percent, 38.5 points ahead of his nearest rival, Mohammad Yunos Qanuni.

Sayed Hamid Noori, a spokesman for Qanuni, said later that Karzai is "the winner" of the elections.