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A month after the ballot was held, preliminary results for the Afghan presidential election are in. According to that tally — and to the surprise of no one — incumbent President Hamid Karzai has won. With more than 50 percent of the votes counted, his margin of victory allows him to skip a runoff against the top challenger, Mr. Abdullah Abdullah.

But reports of fraud throughout the country raise questions about the legitimacy of the results. Failure to respond to those charges and allay doubts will not only taint the results but also undermine international efforts to stabilize Afghanistan. No country will make sacrifices for an illegitimate government.

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