Afghan IEC delays preliminary poll results announcement

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KABUL, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) — Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) said Saturday that it had postponed the release of the preliminary results of the presidential election held on Sept. 28.

IEC spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi told local media that the late arrival of biometric data from the remote provincial voting centers, recounting the votes and separation of clean from unclean votes and efforts to make sure about transparency of the process were among the reasons behind the delay.

Meanwhile, an IEC official, on condition of anonymity, said the preliminary results may come out by the end of next week.

The election officials did not release the exact number of election turnout either.

Fourteen of the 18 registered presidential hopefuls contested for a five-year term of the presidency. Among the candidates are the incumbent President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and government Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah.

On the election timetable, the preliminary results have been said to be announced on Oct. 19, the processing of complaints of the results from Oct. 21 to Nov. 5, while the final results are expected to be announced on Nov. 7.

If none of the candidates win over 50 percent of votes in the first round, the two front runners will enter runoff slated for late November.