One of President Hamid Karzai's ministers is claiming that the president has won an overwhelming re-election victory, a claim that comes one day before the first preliminary election results are released and weeks before a winner is officially declared.
Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal says Karzai won last Thursday's nationwide election with close to 70 per cent of the votes. A top adviser to Zakhilwal, Najibullah Manalay, says the minister is relying on information from Karzai's campaign. A spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai's top challenger, dismisses the claim and says it's aimed at spinning Afghan opinion. Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission is to release preliminary official figures Tuesday but only for a small part of the country.