Afghan presidential election campaign under way


Campaigning in Afghanistan’s presidential election has officially opened, with 11 candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai. If the poll goes to plan, it will be the first handover from one elected president to another in Afghan history. The Taliban has already rejected the April 5th election, and is stepping up attacks to sabotage it.

On the eve of the campaign launch, two political workers were killed in western Afghanistan. Opinion polls funded by the US have been cancelled over accusations that Washington is seeking to manipulate the outcome of the vote.

Initial opinion polls in December put Afghanistan’s former finance minister Ashraf Ghani in the lead. Ghani is an ethnic Pashtun who’s said to be Western-leaning.

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