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RFE/RL to Host Historic Afghan Presidential Debate


Afghanistan - An Afghan youth walks pass presidential election posters on a wall in Kabul, 12Aug2009

Afghanistan - An Afghan youth walks pass presidential election posters on a wall in Kabul, 12Aug2009

(KABUL, Afghanistan) On Sunday, August 16, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan, known locally as Radio Azadi, is hosting the first and only debate featuring President Hamid Karzai and his two main challengers in the August 20 presidential election.

Radio Azadi Director Akbar Ayazi will moderate the discussion between President Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, and Abdullah Abdullah.

"This event represents democracy in action for the Afghan people," Ayazi says. "As the first and only presidential debate to include the incumbent, it's an extraordinary opportunity for Afghans to participate in a peaceful, free exchange of ideas."

The groundbreaking event will take place in Kabul at 5:30pm (9am ET) in front of a studio audience and be broadcast live throughout Afghanistan on Radio Azadi and televised on Afghanistan's state television channel RTA as well as other local and international media.

About Radio Azadi
Radio Azadi is the most popular radio station in Afghanistan, broadcasting uncensored news and information in Dari and Pashto for 12 hours each day. Funded by the U.S. Congress, Radio Azadi was launched in 2002 in an effort to build a peaceful and democratic Afghanistan following the rule of the Taliban.
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