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Afghan polls: Delay fuels confusion

Afghan officials said today they had delayed releasing further results from the nation’s disputed presidential poll, adding further confusion to a contest which appears headed for a second round.

world Updated: Aug 28, 2009 00:33 IST

Afghan officials said on Thursday they had delayed releasing further results from the nation’s disputed presidential poll, adding further confusion to a contest which appears headed for a second round.

Votes from about 17 per cent of 27,000 polling stations have been counted so far, meaning results could swing wildly in the coming days. Preliminary final results are due on September 3, with the final tally about two weeks later.

Afghanistan has been in political limbo since the August 20 vote, with partial results released so far showing President Hamid Karzai leading his main rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, by about 43 per cent to 34 per cent.

The picture will not become any clearer for at least two days, with no counting planned for Friday, a Muslim holiday.

“We will come up with new figures and information on Saturday,” Barakzai said.