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Update: Afghanistan elections

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Although preliminary results for Afghanistan’s presidential election will not be publicized until Saturday (and full results may not come until September 3), both President Hamid Karzai and second favorite Abdullah Abdullah are claiming victory. If neither candidate receives 50% of the vote, a run-off vote will occur. Voter participation was estimated at 40-50%, far lower than the 70% turnout for the first presidential election of 2004. Allegations of fraud are widespread and Ashraf Ghani’s campaign team is expressing its concern over reports of ballot box stuffing in the south where only a paucity of election observers could monitor the polls.