NEW YORK - Afghan President Hamid Karzais acceptance of a presidential runoff didnt come easily but is still only the first step in a hard process, The New York Times said on Wednesday, citing a US official. The decision accepting the runoff set for Nov. 7 is expected to help in creating a credible government following the Aug. 20 elections marred by massive vote-fraud allegations. The unnamed official told The Times there was heavy pressure on Karzai from both European and US officials, including veiled threats that his actions could affect pending decisions about US troops levels. The new questions among diplomats, however, are whether the runoff can be arranged in the next three weeks, whether it will be free of fraud and whether there will be enough security in the face of escalating Taliban violence, the report said. With those questions unanswered, the report said US and other Western allies expect intense effort in the coming day to see if Karzai and his main election rival Abdullah Abdullah can work out a deal to avert the runoff. But for now, Karzai appeared to reject such a possibility. The coalition has no legitimacy and is not possible, he said Tuesday, while standing with US Senator John Kerry, who reportedly conducted marathon negotiations with Karzai. Some officials told The Times any likely deal would require Abdullah to yield to Karzai in exchange for a major role in overhauling the Constitution to reduce the presidents powers. Afghanistans Independent Election Commission formally certified the vote Tuesday, and said Karzai had received 49.7 percent of the votes, higher than a foreign-led panel of experts conducting the audit had found, but still below the over 50 percent required to avoid a runoff.