Afghans return to streets to protest alleged fraud in presidential runoff

Thousands of supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah are protesting alleged fraud in this month's presidential runoff despite the resignation this week of the election commission's top official.

The candidate himself joined thousands of supporters who gathered in front of the presidential palace, shouting that they would not accept fraud and that Abdullah would be the next president.

The dispute over the election pitting Abdullah, a former foreign minister, against former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, has undermined Western hopes for a smooth transfer of power ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign troops by the end of this year. According to the election commission's official timetable, preliminary results are due on July 2, and final results on July 23.