Afganistan President Ashraf Ghani
Afganistan President Ashraf Ghani
ANI Photo

Kabul: Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan's chief executive and President Ashraf Ghani's top rival, claimed victory Monday after the weekend's first round of voting in the presidential election, ahead of the release of any official tally.

"We have the most votes in this election," Abdullah said at a news conference. "The results will be announced by the IEC (Independent Election Commission), but we have the most votes. The election is not going to go to a second round."

Abdullah, who is seeking the presidency for the third time after losing in 2009 and 2014, said his team would "make the new government". Senior IEC official Habib Rahman Nang immediately slammed Abdullah's announcement as premature.

"No candidate has the right to declare himself the winner," he said. "According to the law, it is the IEC that decides who is the winner."

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