Karzai widens lead in Afghan poll

KABUL: Incumbent Hamid Karzai on Saturday pulled further ahead of his main rival in the race for the Afghan presidency, based on the latest results unveiled by the country's election commission.

Total results released so far come from 35 percent of polling stations used in only Afghanistan's second direct presidential election, which was held on August 20 and has been overshadowed by claims of massive fraud.

Out of 2.32 million valid votes counted, Karzai won 940,558 and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah 638,924, Daud Najafi, chief electoral officer at the Independent Election Commission (IEC), told a news conference.

Those results handed Karzai 40.5 percent of votes announced and Abdullah 27.5 percent, widening the incumbent's previous lead of around nine percent.