President Hamid Karzai and his main rival Abdullah Abdullah both have roughly 40 percent of the nationwide vote for president with ten percent of ballots counted, the country's election commission said Tuesday.
Karzai and chief rival Abdullah each claimed victory since last Thursday's presidential election. Abdullah and other challengers have accused Karzai and the authorities of widespread fraud.
The commission said Karzai has 40.6 percent and Abdullah has 38.7 percent in the country's first official returns since the nation voted for president last Thursday.
The early returns are based on only 10 percent of the country's ballots.
The commission plans to release partial results each day the next several days, but final certified results of last week's election won't be ready until at least mid-September.
The elections are a major test for Karzai after eight years in power and for U.S. President Barack Obama, who has poured in thousands of extra troops as part of his new regional strategy to defeat the Taliban and stabilize Afghanistan.