According to partial election results released on Sunday, Abdullah Abdullah currently leads the race to become the next president of Afghanistan. Abdullah, a former foreign minister, holds 44.4 percent of tallied votes, but is closely followed by Ashraf Ghani, a Karzai adviser and World Bank economist, who holds 33.2 percent.
The results that were released represent about half of the seven million ballots cast. Should neither candidate claim an outright majority—and it’s looking that way–a runoff election between the two will be held next month.
Ballot fraud is a large concern during this election. Abdullah was runner-up to Hamid Karzai in 2009, where claims of fraud were thrown around. Four provinces in this election have thrown out ballots, including more than 100,000 in the province of Herat. Nearly 1,000 complaints serious enough to affect the vote count have been registered.
The process of counting votes in Afghanistan since the elections on April 5 have been slow, due to violence in the country and damaged roadways making it difficult to transport all of the ballots to Kabul. Whoever wins will be only the second president since coalition forces invaded in 2001 following 9/11.