2 more join the battle for presidency
KABUL (PAN): With the presidential race gradually picking up steam, two more candidates on Saturday formally filed their nomination papers with the Independent Election Commission (IEC) for the 2014 vote.
The number of presidential aspirants rose to six with the registration of Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, a brother of ex-finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, and Qutbuddin Hilal, a leader of the Gulbadin Hekmatyar-led Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan.
Ahmadzai has picked up Abdullah Bromand and Abed Nazar as his first and second vice-presidents respectively. He promised, if elected, he would focus on reforming the judiciary and reinforcing health, economy, agriculture and security sectors.
He told journalists after registration with the IEC main office in Kabul: "On a priority basis, I would bring reforms to judicial organs and strengthen women's role in this sector."
He did not take up government jobs because of different views with the current administration, Ghani said, adding he owned some commercial companies.
Also on Saturday, the penultimate day of registration, Hilal jumped into the electoral fray. Accompanied by his two deputies Inayatullah Inayat and Mohammad Ali Nabizada, he filed his nomination papers with the IEC.
HIA is has several factions, with the one led by Hekmatyar still engaged in an armed struggle against the government and NATO-led foreign troops. But the group headed by Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal is part of government. Led by Wahidullah Sabawoon, the third faction is also politically active in Kabul.
National Coalition Afghanistan (ANC) head Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Daawat-i-Islami chief Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf and Bismillah Sher of the National Unity party have already filed their nomination papers.
Since the nomination process started on Sept. 16, 73 individuals including three women have so far received information kits on presidential elections.
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