13 Sep 2009

Karzai holds election lead

6:04 am on 13 September 2009

Latest results from the presidential election in Afghanistan show incumbent Hamid Karzai maintaining his lead over his nearest challenger.

With 95% of the votes now counted, the Electoral Commission says the current president has 54.3%, while Abdullah Abdullah is on 28.1%. A threshold of 50% required to avoid a run-off

Mr Karzai's opponents claim there have been widespread irregularities in the poll, which was held on 20 August.

The BBC reports a preliminary result of the election was expected 10 days ago but the accusations of fraud have delayed the process.

However, the Electoral Complaints Commission has begun investigating widespread allegations of fraud.

The Election Commission says it has quarantined ballots from another 2.15% of polling stations because of suspected irregularities.