Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah talks to an unseen journalist during an interview at his residence in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, April 24, 2014.(AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
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Afghan election front-runner Abdullah Abdullah received a major boost to his presidential campaign on Sunday with the endorsement of third-placed Zalmai Rassoul, a close ally of the current leader.Rassoul was seen as the favoured candidate of outgoing President Hamid Karzai, and his support for Abdullah could be influential in deal-making to choose Afghanistan's next leader as US-led troops withdraw from the country.The second-round vote will pit Abdullah against former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani, after the two came first and second in the eight-man election on April 5 .Neither candidate secured the 50 percent needed for outright victory, with Abdullah gaining 44.9 percent and Ghani on 31.5 percent, according to preliminary results.It remained unclear on Sunday whether the Karzai family supported Rassoul joining the Abdullah camp.
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