Abdullah’s Lead in Presidential Polls
As more results are announced by the Independent Election Commission, Abdullah Abdullah further extends his lead in the presidential elections over his main rival Ashraf Ghani. With the gap between the two frontrunners further widening, there is a growing sense of confidence among Dr. Abdullah’s team that he might win a majority of the votes in the first round of the elections. Dr. Abdullah himself has commented that they believe that a second round might not be needed. The second round of announcement of the partial results is further extending Abdullah’s hope to conclude the elections in the very first round of the elections.
In the meantime, the Electoral Complaints Commission has quarantined more ballot boxes that are believed to be fraudulent. In the western Herat province, the IEC officials announced that they have nullified about a hundred thousand votes. According to the officials, there have been widespread irregularities in the polling stations in Herat province. The Electoral Complaints Commission has said that more ballot boxes might be discredited as result of irregularities and frauds. It is believed that most of the votes that have been announced as invalid were casted for Dr. Abdullah. Given that Abdullah Abdullah is narrowing his gap to the required 50 percent, the votes that are quarantined or announced as invalid would have considerable on his ability of secure a satisfactory majority in the first round.
As Abdullah’s Abdullah’s vote is inching closer to the crucial 50 percent, the amount of votes that are quarantined by the Independent Election Commission will play a crucial in determining the outcome of the elections in the first round. However, it is still believed that a second round is highly likely between the two front runners. The results announced so far is almost guaranteeing Abdullah’s lead over his main rival Ashraf Ghani during the upcoming phases of the vote counts. Most likely, he will be able to keep his lead over Ghani if not winning an outright majority in the first round. The announcement of results so far is projecting a much broader picture of the whole votes that would be announced in the coming weeks.
Ironically, Zalmay Rasoul, who was believed to be favored by President Hamid Karzai, is lagging far behind Abdullah and Ghani. It is almost certain that he has lost his hope for competing with the two other frontrunner candidates. It is now quite difficult for him to improve his standing in the polls. In the partial results, Rasoul is coming third with 9 or slightly more percent of the votes announced by the ECC, meaning that his hope of making into a run-off is quickly fading. The partial results also suggest that Abdullah will be more confident if the race goes to the second round while Ashraf Ghani, who stands second now, may have a harder time to compete Abdullah.
However, in the second round, a major issue will remain that who will form alliances with which of the candidates. The new possible alliance makings that will come ahead of the second round of the elections will broadly affect the outcome of the elections.