Thursday, August 21, 2014


Afghan Presidential Candidates Cancel TV Debates

Election billboards in Kabul
Election billboards in Kabul

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By RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan
KABUL -- Candidates in Afghanistan's presidential election have canceled their appearances in all televised debates scheduled for this week because of growing insecurity in Kabul.

RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan (RFA) and Ariana TV, a private television channel, had organized debates for April 1 and 2, respectively.

But both organizations received notifications on March 31 from the campaign teams of the invited candidates that they would not be attending.
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Abdullah Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani, and Zalmai Rasul -- the three front-runners in the April 5 vote -- were expected to take part in RFA's televised debate.

Each cited insecurity and unavailability for their last-minute cancellations.

Violence has escalated around Afghanistan ahead of the April 5 poll, which the Taliban has vowed to disrupt.

Kabul has seen a series of deadly Taliban attacks in recent weeks.

The candidates have already participated in a number of televised debates.

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