27 Aug 2009

Karzai's lead widens in Afghan elections

8:03 am on 27 August 2009

Latest election results from Afghanistan show incumbent President Hamid Karzai has widened his lead.

Figures issued by the election commission show Mr Karzai has 44%, while his main rival, Abdullah Abdullah has 35%.

The election was held on 20 August. Results are being released daily and final figures are due in September.

The BBC reports widespread accusations of fraud and vote rigging and concerns about low voter turnout have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

With 940,000 votes counted, the election commission said on Wednesday that Mr Karzai had 422,000 votes, compared with 330,000 for Mr Abdullah.

Ramazan Bashardost was on 108,000 and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai fourth on 28,000.

The winning candidate needs more than 50% of votes to avoid a run-off.