Uncertainty surrounds Afghan presidential vote count, says analysis

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Kabul, Aug.26 (ANI): Continuing uncertainty surrounds the forthcoming results of the second presidential elections in Afghanistan, with claims and counter claims being projected by key candidates.

However, notwithstanding Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwol's claim that incumbent President Hamid Karzai will win the elections by an overwhelming vote of 68 percent, an analysis has revealed that ethnicity will be a major factor in determining how the people of Afghanistan will vote.

According to the analysis, people in the southern parts of Afghanistan are unlikely to vote for a non-Pushtun leader. Karzai is a Pushtun by birth and also has the backing of powerful warlords like Uzbek leader Abdur Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq and Ismail Khan.

Current counting trends suggest that Karzai's lead over his two prominent rivals-former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani is very narrow, but that is to be expected with only ten percent of the results in.

With the Afghan Electoral Commission revealing that it has received 225 complaints of electoral fraud so far, of which 35 are of a serious nature, Karzai's rivals have threatened to launch violent reprisals.

Karzai is reported have a two percent lead over Abdullah Abdullah. The initial results from the Afghan Electoral Commission gave Karzai 40.6 percent vote against Abdullah's 38.6 vote. Afghan election authorities are due to release more results from presidential polls on a daily basis from Wednesday. It could be up to two weeks before final results are released, and a candidate needs more than 50 percent of the votes to avoid a run-off.

As far the United States is concerned, the analysis says that Washington could be in for trying time for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it has been quite critical of Karzai and now its silence on allegations of electoral fraud is being seen in certain quarters as equally bewildering.

Simultaneously, there is also a realization that there is no alternative to Karzai and that a regime change in Kabul is practically unworkable.

The fourth reality is that the global war on terrorism in Afghanistan is not going Washington's way. The commanders on the ground want more troops and more equipment, even as the foreign troop death toll continues to mount. (ANI)

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