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Afghan Minister Won't Support Karzai's Election Bid

Fahim vowed to support former Education Minister Qanuni's (in file photo) presidential bid 4 August 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim said today he will not support the presidential bid of Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai in the country's 9 October ballot.

Fahim's comments at a news conference in Kabul come almost one week after Karzai passed him over as a possible vice-presidential candidate, instead choosing Ahmad Zia Mas'ud to be his running mate.

Mas'ud, who is currently Afghanistan's ambassador to Russia, is the brother of slain United Front (aka Northern Alliance) commander Ahmad Shah Mas'ud, who led the fight against the Taliban regime.

Fahim said he would lend his support to Mohammad Yunos Qanuni, a former education minister and a prominent Tajik member of the United Front who announced his candidacy in late July.

(with additional dpa reporting)