Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

Three Leading Presidential Candidates

The sixty-day election campaign period, for presidential candidates, is about to end and they are going towards the Election Day which is the 5th of April with hefty promises to the nation. Qayyum Karzai, Farooq Wardak and Sardar Nadir Naeem dropped out of the race. Now eight contenders for the presidential seat remain on the list which will probably be the final one. If more candidates had withdrawn during the past two months, the people would be in a better position to vote the candidates of their choice. However, security has been tightened across Afghanistan and the people, despite serious threats, are exhibiting more enthusiasm to taking part in the election. This is a sign of development.

The campaign period was an opportunity for the candidates to put their views and plans before the public. Now it is much clear which candidates are leading. Out of the eight presidential nominees, it seems like three of them will have a neck-to-neck competition as each one of them has certain positive and negative points.

So far Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Zalmai Rasoul have emerged as three top candidates. The former two also competed with President Hamid Karzai in 2009 presidential election and as a result Dr. Abdullah secured second place and Dr. Ahmadzai the fourth.

Then, none of the candidates including Hamid Karzai could secure 50% plus one vote and the election had to go into the second round. But that did not take place as Karzai’s runner-up, Dr. Abdullah refused to participate.

The Afghan constitutional law does not allow Hamid Karzai to run for a third term. Nonetheless, Dr. Zalmai Rasoul is said to be his favorite and not only the other presidential candidates but also certain civil society organizations have accused the government of supporting Rasoul. How government’s backing will support Rasoul to win the upcoming election is still quite opaque?

Meanwhile, the probability of April 5th polls to go into the second round remains quite high. It seems that none of the candidates will be able to obtain 50% plus one vote. Therefore, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) must keep its plans ready.

Given the prevailing scenario, the chances of electoral frauds is also high. But it is very vital for the presidential candidate to accept the results of the election or the country might be pushed into a chaotic situation.