KABUL - Afghanistan will announce preliminary results of June 14 presidential election run-off as planned on Monday, an election commission spokeswoman said, seeming to quash speculation that the announcement might be delayed again.
The two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, have clashed over the vote, and refusal by either of them to accept the outcome could plunge Afghanistan into a dangerous crisis and split the country along ethnic lines. The results have already been delayed once to give the authorities more time to investigate allegations of mass fraud and speculation has been rife that the announcement might be put off yet again. But today, the Independent Election Commission said that it would stick to its original plan. "The Independent Election Commission will announce preliminary results of the Afghan Presidential runoff today at 2 p.m. (0930 GMT)," said Marzia Seddiqi Salim, an IEC spokeswoman.