October 12, 2004


Early Poll Suggests Karzai Victory in Afghan Election (Michael Kitchen, 12 Oct 2004, VOA News)

A preliminary survey of voters who cast ballots Saturday in Afghanistan's first ever presidential election indicates current transitional President Hamid Karzai is the apparent winner.

The poll by the U.S.-based International Republican Institute shows President Hamid Karzai winning Saturday's election by a margin of 46 percentage points.

This is despite a crowded field of 18 candidates contesting the election.

The poll gives Mr. Karzai an overwhelming 86 percent of the votes among the country's largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns, of which he is member.

That result easily compensated for Mr. Karzai's reportedly weaker showing among other ethnic groups, where he failed to take a majority.

If the poll is correct, the president will not have to stand in a second, run-off election, which is required if no candidate takes more than 50 percent.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 12, 2004 2:25 PM
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