As Votes Are Counted, Both Afghan Front-Runners Claim Victory

Runoff likely with both top candidates faring well

Afghanistan voted over the weekend, and slowly but surely the votes are being counted. If no one candidate gets 50%, the top two candidates will head for a run-off election.

No data is out on the vote yet, but both President Azraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah are not only said to be performing well, both are claiming victory, and each believes they’ve gotten over half of the votes.

In fact, Ghani’s running mate Amrullah Saleh says Ghani will get between 60% and 70% of the votes. Abdullah’s supporters rejected that, saying it was premature to talk numbers.

The most preliminary results are likely weeks away in Afghanistan, and final results aren’t expected until November 7. Since both sides were expected to have strong showings, it is entirely likely that neither will get 50%, and the runoff will be held.

This could be a problem, since the current vote was already delayed about half a year, and allegations of fraud and corruption are going to mean counts and recounts, and ongoing tensions. This was seen prominently in 2014, when the same two candidates squared off for a run-off.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of