UN envoy predicts 2nd Afghan poll

KABUL: The UN special envoy to Afghanistan warned Wednesday that a second-round election called to decide the country's fraud-tainted presidential race, would not be perfect.

"This is not going to be a perfect run-off. This is a country in conflict and we have to remember that," Kai Eide told Al-Jazeera television.

Afghanistan is due to hold a presidential run-off on November 7.

Fraud investigations from a UN-backed body found that no candidate passed the 50-percent threshold needed for outright victory.

Amid fears that poor turnout and corruption could also cloud the run-off, Eide said it was "normal" for turnout to be lower at a second round, but added that fraud would be "lower than last time".

More than one million ballots cast in Afghanistan's August 20 presidential election were found to be fraudulent by election commissioners who on Tuesday called the second round between President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah.

Karzai had 55 percent of preliminary results, while Abdullah garnered around 28 percent.

After fraudulent ballots were invalidated, Karzai's share fell to 49.67 percent and Abdullah to 30.59 percent, official figures show.

The budget for the two elections was 379 million dollars, the chairman of the Independent Election Commission, Azizullah Ludin, told reporters.