Karzai calls for head-to-head election | News | Al Jazeera

Karzai calls for head-to-head election

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

    Next year's vote to succeed Karzai will be a test of whether international aid was worthwhile [Reuters]
    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.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.