Afghanistan delays election result announcement till Thursday

KABUL Wed May 14, 2014 8:23am EDT

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (2nd R) and Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul (L) arrive for a joint news conference in Kabul May 11, 2014. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah (2nd R) and Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul (L) arrive for a joint news conference in Kabul May 11, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Omar Sobhani

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KABUL (Reuters) - The final result of the presidential election held in Afghanistan over a month ago will be announced on Thursday, the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC) said, delaying the announcement by a day.

Preliminary results late last month showed no candidate emerging with an absolute majority which, if confirmed by the final results, will lead to a run-off between the two leading contenders, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani.

According to the preliminary count Abdullah finished top with 44.9 percent, followed by Ghani with 31.5 percent, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said.

"Tomorrow at 11 am (0630 GMT) the IEC will announce the final result," said IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor.

The date has still to be fixed for a second round of voting.

The delay in announcing the final results was forced by the failure of the complaints commission to submit its final report on time. The commission said it had been flooded with complaints after the April 5 vote.

(Reporting by Jessica Donati and Hamid Shalizi; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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