Preliminary results for last Thursday’s election in Afghanistan have been released by election officials. While initial results put Afghan President Hamid Karzai with a slight 2 percent lead over Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, his nearest rival, results released on Wednesday showed Karzai pulling ahead with 44.8 percent of the vote compared to Abdullah’s 35.1 percent based on returns from 17 percent of the nation’s polling stations.
After the polls closed, the New York Times reported the Afghan election was called a success despite Taliban attacks. “American officials were quick to declare the poll a success – worth the expanding commitment of troops and money to an increasingly unpopular and corruption-plagued government.”
Before the election, Western officials feared the Taliban would completely disrupt the election with violence. The Guardian noted that US and NATO officials were quick to proclaim poll a success despite violence, low turnout, and fears of electoral fraud.