KABUL – One of President Hamid Karzai's ministers is claiming that the president has won an overwhelming re-election victory, a claim that comes one day before the first preliminary election results are released and weeks before a winner is officially declared.
Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal says Karzai won last Thursday's nationwide election with close to 70 percent of the votes. A top adviser to Zakhilwal, Najibullah Manalay, says the minister is relying on information from Karzai's campaign.
A spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai's top challenger, dismisses the claim and says it's aimed at spinning Afghan opinion.
Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission is to release preliminary official figures Tuesday — but only for a small part of the country.