Afghanistan\’s presidential election will go to a second round after no one candidate garnered more than 50% of the vote, the country\’s election commission said Saturday.
Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah won most votes with 44.9%. Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani came second with 31.5%.
They are now expected to face a run-off vote on 28 May.
Final official results are due to be announced on 14 May after a period for adjudication of complaints.
A run-off election is required unless a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the ballots.
Abdullah finished second in Afghanistan\’s last presidential election, in 2009. President Hamid Karzai was declared the winner amid allegations of irregularities and ballot fraud. Officials have been investigating complaints of possible fraud and other irregularities in the current election.
Current President Karzai was constitutionally barred from standing for a third term.
The winner of the April 5 election will replace Karzai, who could not run again because of constitutional limits. The next president will oversee a transition during which a majority of international troops will be withdrawing from Afghanistan.
Millions of Afghans defied Taliban threats to take part in the election.