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Afghanistan’s presidential election results delayed until November

An Afghan elder shows his inked finger to show he voted during the heavily anticipated Afghanistan elections in Barge Matal, Afghanistan, Aug. 20, 2009. Afghanistan village elders are considered to be the role models and leaders among the Afghan civilians. U.S. Army soldiers helped provide security during the elections. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Allison/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Afghanistan’s electoral authorities said preliminary results from last month’s presidential election will be delayed for weeks.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said the preliminary results of the September 28 election will be announced on November 14.

The preliminary results were originally meant to be released on October 19.

IEC chief Hawa Alam Nuristani told reporters in Kabul on October 27 that the election was a “fate-determining issue” and that they could not “accept sacrificing transparency for speed.”

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The release of the results have been hampered by widespread accusations of misconduct during voting and technical problems with transferring ballot papers and data from the biometric voter verification system.

The postponement is likely to fuel political uncertainty and allegations of fraud.

The two front-runners, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah, have both claimed victory and accused the other of vote-rigging.

If no candidate obtains more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP