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Afghan presidential front-runner Abdullah gains powerful endorsement ahead of second round

The front runner in Afghanistan's presidential election has picked up a potentially powerful endorsement ahead of a second round of polling later this month.

Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, who came out on top according to a preliminary tally in the first round of voting April 5, has won the support of Zalmai Rassoul, another former foreign minister.

Speaking together at a news conference Sunday, Rassoul said his decision to back Abdullah was based on "national unity, stability, peace and prosperity."

Rassoul came in third behind Abdullah and ex-Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the first round. Final results of the first round are due to be announced Wednesday, with a second round face-off between Abdullah and Ahmadzai likely to take place two weeks after that.