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Afghan Gandhi?

While thousands of Western troops are deployed to Afghanistan to provide security for the August 20 presidential election, there is one Afghan candidate who is not deterred by any security fears.

In fact, Ramzan Bashardost is running his campaign from a tent outside the national parliament. When he's not campaigning from the tent (his listed address on his website), he walks around Kabul canvassing.

He must be doing something right because he's the fourth most popular candidate out of 41 contesting the presidential election.

"The New York Times" recently did a video feature on Bashardost's campaign and popularity among Afghans.

In a country where power flows from the barrel of a gun, many see him as an Afghan Gandhi and warm to his anticorruption and antiwarlord message.

-- Abubakar Siddique

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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