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April 20, 2014 AT 5:26 AM
Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah leads the race to become Afghanistan's next president, according to the latest official tally of votes released on Sunday, but is short of an outright majority. Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission said initial results based on almost 50 percent of the vote from the 34 provinces showed Abdullah in the lead with 44.4 percent, followed by Western-leaning academic Ashraf Ghani with 33.2 percent. A win of less than 50 percent would mean the election goes to a second round. Failing that, the top two candidates go into a run-off.