[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Karzai calls for head-to-head election

Afghan president backs American-style vote to decide his successor while naming three possible runners.

Last Modified: 24 Aug 2013 11:31
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Next year's vote to succeed Karzai will be a test of whether international aid was worthwhile [Reuters]

The Afghan president has called for next year's crucial election to be a US-style head-to-head contest between two candidates.

Hamid Karzai also named on Saturday three possible runners in the wide-open race.

The April 5 election to succeed Karzai, who has ruled since Taliban hardliners were toppled in 2001, is seen as the crucial test whether 12 years of international military and aid intervention has been worthwhile.

"My desire is that we should have a limited number of candidates as this is good for the country," Karzai told the media in his palace gardens.

"In the United States there were only two candidates.

"If we have two presidential candidates, it would be better, but if we had four that is also not a problem."

After serving two terms, Karzai must stand down next year for an election that will be the first ever democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan.

There is widespread uncertainty over who and how many people will run.

More than 40 candidates stood in the chaotic 2009 election, which was marred by massive fraud and delays until Karzai emerged triumphant.

Karzai named Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, a controversial former regional commander; Abdullah Abdullah, the 2009 election runner-up; and Ashraf Ghani, a former finance minister, as possible candidates.

"There are others as well, I don't want to leave any names unmentioned but it is not possible for me to mention them all," Karzai said.

Other potential contestants include Qayum Karzai, the president's brother, Omar Daudzai, the current ambassador to Pakistan, and former interior minister Ali Ahmad Jalali.

252

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.