KABUL - Afghanistan's election commission says President Hamid Karzai is moving closer to the 50 per cent threshold that would allow him to avoid a run-off in the country's presidential election.

In results released Wednesday, Karzai has 47.3 per cent of votes counted while top challenger Abdullah Abdullah has 32.6 per cent. Karzai needs 50 per cent to avoid a two-man runoff.

The commission is slowly releasing results from the Aug. 20 presidential vote, which was marred by hundreds of allegations of fraud.

The latest returns are based on votes from 60 per cent of the country's voting stations.

Election results are not expected to be finalized until mid-or late September after officials investigate fraud allegations.

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