Sept. 24, 2009, midnight
Opposition candidate and former cabinet minister Abdullah ABDULLAH has told journalists he would prefer a full recount to the sample authorized this week by Afghanistan's UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission. Evidence of widespread fraud marred the country's first-round elections on August 20. In some polling stations, more than 95 percent of ballots favored incumbent President Hamid KARZAI. Officials next week will examine samples of ballots from any station where there were more than 600 votes or where there were more than 100 votes, 95 percent of which went to one candidate. For most analysts, there is a strong chance the recount could deny KARZAI his majority of votes, forcing him into a second round election.