Friday, April 25, 2014


Afghanistan

Afghan Presidential Campaign Begins

While the field of 11 could narrow as the campaign grinds on, there is currently no clear leading contender.
While the field of 11 could narrow as the campaign grinds on, there is currently no clear leading contender.
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Campaigning for Afghanistan's presidential election has officially begun.

Eleven candidates are vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai in the April 5 vote.

Karzai has essentially run Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 drove the Taliban from power and is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

While the field of 11 could narrow as the campaign grinds on, there is currently no clear leading contender.

None of the candidates is expected to garner the majority needed to avoid a runoff.

The Taliban has vowed to disrupt the election process, which is taking place as NATO combat forces ready their withdrawal at the end of 2014.

On February 1, two members of former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah's campaign team were killed in western Afghanistan.

Analysts say the vote is key to the future of Afghanistan.

Billions of dollars in foreign aid are tied to the government's holding a free and fair election, the first independent vote organized by Afghanistan without direct foreign assistance.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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