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Abdullah Keeps Lead In Latest Afghan Presidential Results

The latest partial results from Afghanistan's presidential election show former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah maintaining a lead of more than 10 percent over his nearest rival.

Officials said April 24 that with 82.6 percent of the vote counted, Abdullah had 43.8 percent, followed by former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani with 32.9 percent and former Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasul with 11 percent.

Independent Election Commission chief Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani told a news conference in Kabul that it seems likely that Abdullah and Ghani will face each other in a runoff, expected in late May.

A candidate has to secure at least 50 percent of the vote to win in the first round.

Electoral officials plan to release the complete preliminary results of the first round vote on April 26. The final results are expected to be released May 14.

The first-round vote to choose a replacement for outgoing President Hamid Karzai has been hailed for a high turnout of around 58 percent.
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