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Incumbent president leads Afghan presidential polls

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has led the preliminary results of September presidential election by 50.64 percent, Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced on Sunday.

Announcing the long-awaited results, Chairperson of IEC Hawa Alam Nuristani told reporters that Ghani was followed by presidential hopeful and government’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah who secured 39.52 percent of the votes.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hizb-e-Islami of Afghanistan, has bagged 3.85 percent of the votes.

The remaining 11 candidates had far fewer votes, with the fourth place candidate winning less than 2 percent.

Nuristani said that the candidates and voters can register election outcome-related complaints with Independent Electoral Complaints Commission within three days.

Fourteen out of the 18 registered hopefuls contested for the presidency with a five-year term in the polls held on Sept. 28.

The preliminary results were supposed to be announced on Oct. 19, but they were delayed following audit and recount of votes amid reports of irregularities.

In the meantime, Nuristani did not say when the final results will be revealed.

Under the Afghan law, final results cannot be announced until serious complaints are adjudicated, Xinhua reported.

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