Afghanistan's outgoing President Hamid Karzai has ordered government and security officials not to interfere in the country's June 14 presidential runoff.
In his speech, televised on June 12, Karzai urged Afghans to cast their ballots, saying the vote is "very important for democracy and the strengthening of stability."
Karzai also called on election officials to make the process "transparent" and to "remain neutral in the electoral process until the final results."
Karzai is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.
The two men aiming to replace him are former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and ex-World Bank economist and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani.
Meanwhile, the Taliban in a statement warned Afghans to "remain far away from the polling stations...lest you should be hurt or killed."
With reporting by dpa, AFP, and Reuters