The head of the top U.S. intelligence agency believes credible allegations of voter fraud will not stop Afghan President Hamid Karzai from winning re-election.
Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta tells VOA the August vote was clearly marred by fraud. But he says Mr. Karzai "still looks like the individual who is going to be able to win that election."
Preliminary figures released Wednesday show Mr. Karzai with 54 percent of the vote (3,093,256 ballots) -- more than the 50 percent needed to avoid a run-off election with former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah.
The election comes as top American officials try to determine how to defeat Taliban insurgents who have fought an increasingly effective campaign to expand their influence.Panetta says some Taliban success is the result of continued support from al-Qaida in Pakistan.