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    Rassoul, Wardak among 8 barred from elections

    KABUL (PAN): The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has disqualified former foreign and defence ministers Zalmai Rassoul and Abdul Rahim Wardak from contesting next year’s presidential elections along with six others candidates, a well-placed source said on Sunday.

    Triggered by problems in their documents, the disqualifications left 19 rivals in the April 2014 presidential race, the IEC official told Pajhwok Afghan News, but declined to be named.

    Besides Rassoul and Wardak, the six more removed from the preliminary list of candidates are Hamidullah Qadiri, Sarwar Ahmadzai, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, Noor Rahman Lewal, Nadir Shah Ahmadzai and Dr. Dawar Ahmad Nadi.

    The official said another nearly a dozen candidates could be dropped from the list as the scrutiny process of their documents had not yet finished.

    He said candidates’ documents were still being assessed, a process he said would be completed by end of the day.

    Earlier, Dil Agha Kohdamani was the first presidential hopeful to be banned from running in the elections on failing to submit with the IEC the required number of supporters.

    A total of 27 candidates had filed nomination papers and a further cut in their strength could come with progress in the vetting process.

    The IEC was to announce the initial list of presidential candidates on Saturday, but failed to finalise it due to technical problems.

    IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor said they postponed releasing the list on Saturday after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided them with information on some candidates having dual nationalities.

    Under the country’s constitution, a presidential contender should possess only Afghan citizenship.

    Noor said a final list of candidates would be displayed on Tuesday because the vetting process could stretch into Monday.

    Independent Election Complaint Commission (IECC) spokesman and member Nadir Muhsini said so far 16 people had lodged complaints, mostly against provincial council contenders.

    After assessing all the complaints, he said they would submit a list to the IEC, which would then announce the final list. According to the IEC’s schedule, the final list of candidates shall be announced on November 16.

    As many as 3,000 individuals have filed nominations to contest the provincial council elections, also slated for April 5.

    ra/rm/ma



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