The Afghan presidential election is heading for a second round run-off between former opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani.

The final results issued today showed no candidate had won an absolute majority.

Mr Abdullah took the lead with 45% of votes, followed by Mr Ghani with 31.6%, the Independent Election Commission said.

Former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul was widely seen as Afghan President Hamid Karzai's favourite.

However, he finished a distant third with 11.4% and has since joined Mr Abdullah's camp.

Mr Karzai was constitutionally barred from standing for a third term.