KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday moved into a clear lead

in the controversial race for the presidency, with 48.6 per cent of the vote.

Afghan officials announced results from 75 per cent of the polling stations used in only Afghanistan’s second direct presidential election, held on August 20 and overshadowed by claims of massive fraud and low turnout. Of 4.3 million valid votes, Karzai won 2.08 million and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah 1.36 million.