A new poll shows Afghan President Hamid Karzai leading the race for presidential elections next week -- but not by enough to avoid a run-off.
A survey released Friday by the U.S.-funded International Republican Institute says Mr. Karzai currently has 44 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister, is in second place with 26 percent of the vote.
The poll gives candidate Ramazan Bashardost 10 percent, and Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister, doubled his support to six percent. A candidate must win more than 50 percent of the vote for a first-round victory.With less than a week to go before next Thursday's vote, the top presidential contenders held rallies across the country Friday in search of votes.
President Karzai met with supporters in the western city of Herat. Abdullah Abdullah traveled to the central province of Dai Kundi, and Ashraf Ghani campaigned in southern Zabul province.