Ghani ahead on preliminary Afghan election results

Tuesday 08 July 2014 00.04
1 of 2
Ashraf Ghani has 56% of the vote, according to the preliminary results
Ashraf Ghani has 56% of the vote, according to the preliminary results
Abdullah Abdullah had last-minute talks with Mr Ghani about the transition of power
Abdullah Abdullah had last-minute talks with Mr Ghani about the transition of power

Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani looks set for victory in Afghanistan's presidential election.

Preliminary results released this afternoon showed him with 56% of the run-off vote to Abdullah Abdullah's 44%.

Election officials said the turnout was more than eight million in the vote on 14 June.

It was far higher than expected and the figure is likely to trigger further allegations of fraud from both sides.

A spokesman for Mr Abdullah has said the former foreign minister has rejected the preliminary results.

"We don't accept the results which were announced today and we consider this as a coup against people's votes," said Mujib Rahman Rahimi.

The two men earlier held last-minute talks to try to resolve the stand-off over the outcome the election.

The deadlock has quashed hope for a smooth transition of power in Afghanistan.

Mr Ghani's camp said the two sides had agreed to audit an additional 7,100 polling stations to ensure the final result is clean.

However, Mr Abdullah's aides said the compromise was not final.

Both rounds of the vote to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai have been plagued by accusations of mass fraud.

The refusal by either candidate to accept the outcome could split the fragile country along ethnic lines.