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Manawi floats runoff possibility

AT News

KABUL: Ex-chief of the election commission Fazl Ahmad Manawi – and a staunch supporter of Dr. Abdullah, a front-runner in run-up for presidency – has begun acknowledging the notion of a runoff in the 2019 presidential election.

Manawi in his Facebook account voiced confidence that Afghanistan’s fourth presidential elections is highly likely to go to a second round as none of the candidates have surpassed the threshold.

He also floated the possibility that final results of the elections would not be announced within a month as the election scrutiny is a time-consuming process.

Even though election process is snail-paced, the nation would be complacent about a transparent outcome, he emphasized, “but, there is strong possibility that elections will go to a second round”.

Earlier, election complaints commission said there would be an immediate conclusion to long drawn-out adjudication of complaints that had alleged massive fraud.

Just days after voters went to the polls, Abdullah and Ghani both declared victory but neither candidate offered evidence in support of their claim. Preliminary results were expected in October but they were delayed due to technical issues and allegations of fraud.

Turnout was also the lowest it has been since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, with just 1.82 million votes counted. Afghanistan’s total population stands at about 37 million, with 9.6 million registered voters.

Nearly one million votes were reportedly excluded due to irregularities.

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