Afghanistan: As elections approach

Published March 21, 2014
A girl runs during an election campaign by Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
A girl runs during an election campaign by Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
A boy holding a toy pistol stands a cage containing chickens for sale near the venue of an election campaign by Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
A boy holding a toy pistol stands a cage containing chickens for sale near the venue of an election campaign by Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai attend an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Afghan supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai depart on horseback after a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul on March 19. — Photo by AFP
Afghan supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai depart on horseback after a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul on March 19. — Photo by AFP
A helicopter carrying Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's team takes off after an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
A helicopter carrying Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's team takes off after an election campaign in Kunduz province, northern Afghanistan, March 19. — Photo by Reuters
Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani (second to right) hugs a supporter during his arrival at the airport before a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani (second to right) hugs a supporter during his arrival at the airport before a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
A security force member watches Afghan supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai during a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
A security force member watches Afghan supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai during a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
An Afghan man beats back supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to control the crowd before a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
An Afghan man beats back supporters of presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai to control the crowd before a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
Afghan vice-presidential candidate Abdul Rahid Dostum, who is campaigning with presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, addresses the crowd during a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
Afghan vice-presidential candidate Abdul Rahid Dostum, who is campaigning with presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, addresses the crowd during a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (Left), shakes hands with his vice-presidential candidate former warlord Abdul Rahid Dostum as he gestures to the crowd during a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP
Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (Left), shakes hands with his vice-presidential candidate former warlord Abdul Rahid Dostum as he gestures to the crowd during a gathering in the outskirts of Kunduz province, north of Kabul, on March 19. — Photo by AFP

Presidential elections will be held in Afghanistan on April 5, 2014. Incumbent president Hamid Karzai will not be eligible to run in the elections due to term limits. A total of 27 candidates were confirmed to have been running for office. However, on October 22, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission disqualified 16 of the candidates, leaving only 11 in the race. Opinion polls show Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Dr Ashraf Ghani as the front-runners. Afghanistan's April 5 election is the third presidential poll since the fall of the Taliban.

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