Early Count Suggests Afghan Vote Heading to Runoff

Abdullah the Early Leader, But Count Could Take Weeks

The early count of ballots in Afghanistan mostly centers around the capital city of Kabul, and has been good news for Abdullah Abdullah, who came in second place in the last election, and is off to a solid lead.

It seems virtually a foregone conclusion, however, that Abdullah will not get the 50% threshold needed to avoid a run-off vote, with former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and Zalmal Rassoul also enjoying considerable support. That means a run-off will take place later this year.

The election count is already seeing allegations of fraud, with Ghani and Rassoul both claiming “serious fraud” had been reported to them. Since this is Afghanistan we’re talking about, fraud allegations will doubtless grow in the weeks to come.

Of course, your ballots can only be fraudulently ignored if they survive the trip to Kabul, and several districts have seen all their ballots destroyed by bombing attacks, another problem likely to grow in the weeks the count is expected to take.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.