Karzai's first time hint at runoff voting in Afghanistan

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Washington, Oct. 16 (ANI): Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has hinted at the possibility of holding an election runoff with his main opponent and former Foreign Minister, Abdullah Abdullah.

Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States, Said Tayeb Jawad, said that the Karzai government is preparing for the Afghanistan Election Commission to announce that a runoff was necessary.

"Chances are there will be a second round, although it was not so sure up to a couple of days ago, but now it looks like there will be a second round," the New York Times quoted Jawed, as saying.

Jawed's statement comes weeks after election fraud allegations plagued the Karzai government.

Afghan and American officials said the earliest that a runoff vote could be held was late this month or early next month, with results expected about two weeks later.

The election runoff reports are coming at a time when Karzai and Abdullah have suggested that a possibility of a power-sharing agreement.

Abdullah, during a news conference in Kabul, hinted that he might be willing to negotiate a power-sharing deal with Karzai, but only after an announcement about whether a runoff election is needed.

"It will be a different environment, no doubt, once the announcement is made. We reserve our reaction, and what to do post-announcement, for that period," Abdullah said. (ANI)

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