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Partial results show tight race in Afghan election

KABUL, Afghanistan >> Partial results in Afghanistan’s crucial presidential election show a tight race between ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah has received 41.9 percent of the votes counted so far and Ghani has 37.6 percent.

The chairman of the Independent Election Commission, Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani, warned that the front-runner could easily change.

The results released Sunday are for 10 percent of the vote in 26 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. They represent a little over 500,000 of the 7 million ballots cast.

Abdullah, who came in second in the disputed 2009 election, had 212,312 votes. Ghani had 190,561 and former foreign minister Zalmai Rassoul trailed with 49,821 votes.

Full preliminary results are due April 24. A runoff in May could be necessary if no candidate gets a majority.

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