A spokesperson for Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission says votes from 447 polling stations have been annulled due to fraud.

The cancelled ballot papers could amount to as many as 200,000 votes and could affect the outcome of the controversial 20 August presidential election. Partial results released today give sitting President Hamid Karzai 48.6 percent of the vote while his closest rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah has 31.7 percent.

Afghanistan’s second-ever presidential election has been marred by accusations of fraud and corruption. The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission is investigating more than 2,000 complaints of fraud and vote rigging. The final result is not expected before 17 September. If neither candidate wins more than 50 percent, a second round will be held in October.