Karzai Widens Lead in New Poll Returns

He's up 45% to 35%, but only 17% of votes have been counted
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2009 1:47 PM CDT
An Afghan boy walks past destructions caused by Tuesday's explosion in the city of Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009.    (Allauddin Khan)
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(Newser) – President Hamid Karzai extended his lead over his top challenger in Afghanistan's presidential election, but he remained short of the 50% threshold that would allow him to avoid a two-man runoff. With only 17% of the vote counted, Karzai has 44.8%, while Abdullah Abdullah has 35.1%. The count is proceeding slowly, and final certified results may not be ready until mid-September, after dozens of complaints of fraud have been investigated.