JANUARY 2017

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- Suresh Jaura
Publisher and Managing Editor

MORE SMOKE & MIRRORS

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Afghanistan: 2nd Round Vote Result May Throw Up Surprises

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By Pajhwok Report

Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) has collected unofficial results from 170 polling sites across the country and tallied the votes polled there during Saturday’s runoff presidential election.

Keeping in view the voting trends in the April 5 elections, Pajhwok has taken great pains counting the ballots to avoid inaccuracies and steer clear of controversy, treating each 40,000 votes cast in a province as a tally from one centre.

For reasons of precision, support bases of the candidates in different neighbourhoods of major cities like Kabul have been accorded careful consideration. Such caution has been exercised in areas like Khairkhana, Ahmad Shah Baba Mina, Dasht-i-Barchi, Paghman and Deh Sabz.

Details of the results from the 170 voting sites have already been released on Pajhwok’s Facebook page. The total votes cast there are 66,355 -- 31,535 for Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and 34, 820 for Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

Based on our calculation of the votes from the aforementioned sites, Ahmadzai has secured 52.48 percent and Abdullah 47.52 percent of the ballots. The former World Bank economist is thus 4.96 percent ahead of his challenger.

In the inconclusive first round, Abdullah emerged on top by winning 45 percent of the popular vote and Ahmadzai came in second with 31.5 percent. On the face of it, the outcome of the second round may throw up some surprises.

Scores of Pajhwok reporters in the capital Kabul and all 34 provinces worked past midnight to collect results from the polling sites. They also obtained the relevant documents.

Around seven million people participated in the election, with women constituting 38 percent of them, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) chief said. He put the voter turnout at about 58 percent.

In line with the IEC timeline, the preliminary results will be announced on July 2 and complaints filed during the next two days. The certified results are scheduled for July 22.

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