Early Provincial Results, UN Official Dismissed In Afghanistan

Sept. 26, 2009, midnight

Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Commission last Saturday announced preliminary results in 30 of 34 provincial elections held alongside the first-round Presidential vote on August 20. Of 420 total seats, men won 251 and women 106, one seat more than the quarter reserved to them. Turnout was nearly 38 percent, a point higher than that in the Presidential election, and at least four candidates died while campaigning. More than 3,000 candidates ran. United Nations officials meanwhile have dismissed a senior official following his call for a recount of all votes cast in the re-election of President Hamid KARZAI. Following evidence of widespread fraud, the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission has examined about one quarter of ballots. Many observers believe the recount will force incumbent President Hamid KARZAI into a second-round runoff against challenger Abdullah ABDULLAH.

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