Karzai to accept final vote result

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai will accept the final ruling of electoral authorities, his spokesman said Tuesday after a report into election fraud rejected many ballots.

"We have to wait for the final announcement through legal channels, which is the Independent Election Commission (IEC), and once the IEC announces the results then we are bound to accept it, based on the law," Waheed Omar told commercial television.

"We will wait for the IEC announcements," he said on Tolo TV.

Karzai's share of the vote in the August 20 election is expected to have fallen below the 50 percent needed for outright victory, following an investigation by the Election Complaints Commission (ECC) into fraud.

If the findings of the ECC report, released late Monday, are accepted by the IEC, Afghans may have to vote in a second round run-off between Karzai and his nearest rival, Abdullah Abdullah.

"It is premature to say that the ECC has announced its findings and the winner is known. It is based on media reports that our friends say the election is gone to a runoff," said Omar.