Ready for run-off, Ahmadzai rules out coalition govt

KABUL (Pajhwok): Frontrunner in last weekend’s presidential elections Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai said on Friday he would prefer contesting a run-off election over withdrawing in favour a rival candidate.
In a video message, Ashraf Ghani said partial results from the April 5 elections were yet to be announced, but he was ready if the elections went to a second round run-off race. “God willing, we are the winner and ready if the polls go to a run-off round,” he added.
After securing victory in the elections, the academic said he would form a government in which other contenders would have a big share.
Another frontrunner to succeed Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, on Thursday voiced the possibility of teaming up with another leading candidate Zalmai Rassoul but ruled out forming a coalition government to avoid a second-round runoff.
More than seven million Afghans voted in the landmark elections, which will usher in the first democratic handover of power in the country’s history, if succeeded.
Preliminary tallies put Abdullah in the lead in parts of Kabul. But it could be weeks before a countrywide winner emerges from the field of eight candidates.
Under the election law if none of the candidates gets more than 50 per cent, a runoff will have to be held, at the earliest in late May.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) started tallying votes on April 6, a day after the voting came to a close, a process that would continue until April 20, with a final tally not expected until mid-May.
The commission has reportedly entered into its data system more than 45 percent of ballots cast and a partial vote count cannot be released until at least 20 of 34 total provinces are counted.
Unofficial results suggest none of the presidential contenders will be able to secure the required number of votes.
A day before, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said it was fully prepared to hold a second round run-off election if necessary, saying the run-off would be free from any legal and technical problems.

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