KABUL - The leading candidates in the race to become Afghanistan's next president have started lobbying in anticipation of a run-off with final preliminary election results on Saturday expected to show none of the eight runners winning an absolute majority.

Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani - both former ministers in President Hamid Karzai's government - share three-quarters of the votes counted so far, but voting trends show that neither will secure the 50 percent needed to win outright.

The expected Abdullah-Ghani run-off would take place at the end of next month.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger