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Afghans brace for another round of voting, bargaining begins

The leading candidates in the race to become Afghanistan’s next president have started lobbying in anticipation of a run-off with final preliminary election results on Saturday expected to show none of the eight runners winning an absolute majority. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani – both former ministers in President Hamid Karzai’s government – share three-quarters of the votes counted so far, but voting trends show that neither will secure the 50 per cent needed to win outright. The expected run-off between the two would take place at the end of next month. Ex-foreign minister Zalmay…