Final election list: 41 presidential hopefuls
13 June 2009 - Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission has announced the final list of candidates for the presidential and provincial council elections due to be held on 20 August.
Election Commission President Azizullah Lodin said the final list of presidential hopefuls includes incumbent Hamid Karzai, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani, former Foreign Minister Dr Abdullah Abdullah and two women, among others.
Mr Lodin said two candidates for the coveted post of president – Akbar Bai and Sayed Jafar Hofyani – were disqualified and the third – Mohammad Daud Mirakai – voluntarily withdrew from the race, putting the final number at 41.
He said a vice-presidential candidate was also disqualified.
However, Lodin didn’t explain the basis for their disqualification.
The Electoral Complaints Commission announced last week that it barred three candidates from contesting the presidential race and 54 from running for provincial council seats.
There are more than 3,000 candidates for the 420 seats on provincial councils for 34 provinces.
The IEC has set 16 June-18 August as the period for political campaigning and ballot papers will be printed by mid-July.
Eighteen people contested the 2004 presidential elections which were won by Karzai.
By Tilak Pokharel, UNAMA