Afghan presidential election heads for a run-off in June

Reuters News
Posted: May 15, 2014 4:21 AM

KABUL (Reuters) - The Afghan election headed for a second round run-off between former opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani after final results on Thursday showed no candidate had won an absolute majority.

Abdullah took the lead with 45 percent of votes, followed by Ghani with 31.6 percent, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said.

Former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul, widely seen as incumbent President Hamid Karzai's favorite, finished a distant third with 11.4 percent, but has since joined Abdullah's camp. Karzai was constitutionally barred from standing for a third term.

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(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Jessica Donati; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)