From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
The first official results are starting to come in in Afghanistan's election. With just 10% in, incumbent president Hamid Karzai is up just 40.6%-38.7% over Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the New York Times reports.
"The inconclusive results, reported by the Independent Election Commission, were sharply at odds with claims by aides to President Karzai on Monday that he had won an overwhelming majority in the voting last Thursday. If no candidate receives a majority, a runoff election would be required."
A candidate needs 50% to win outright and avoid a runoff. The country's finance minister, a Karzai appointee, earlier this week claimed Karzai had obtained a whopping 68% of the vote. Karzai got 55% in his first run and his popularity has fallen.
Af/Pak special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke told the Times, "Ten percent of the vote is in. Imagine an American election with 10 percent in. You don't call it with 10 percent. Anyone who extrapolates at this point is less than accurate."