(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Preliminary results in Afghanistan’s presidential election show former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah won the most votes but not the majority needed to avoid a runoff.
The chairman of the Independent Election Commission, Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani, said Saturday that Abdullah had 44.9 percent of the vote and ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai came in second with 31.5 percent. The preliminary results are due to be finalized on May 14 after investigations into fraud complaints.
Electoral law requires a runoff between the top two candidates if no one candidate gets a majority. A runoff should be held within 15 days of final results.
The candidates are vying to replace President Hamid Karzai, the only president Afghans have known since the U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban’s hard-line Islamic regime.