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18 out of 23 candidates qualified for Afghan presidential race
www.chinaview.cn 2004-08-10 22:41:23

    KABUL, Aug. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Out of 23 candidates for the Afghan presidential race, 18 have been qualified to run for the upcoming election, the Afghan Election Commission said here Tuesday.

    "Three of the candidates withdrew their candidacy and two others did not meet the criteria to contest the presidential poll," Head of the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) Zakim Shahtold journalists at a press conference.

    For the vice president candidates, two were rejected by theJEMB and three were dropped by their partner.

    None of the prominent candidates fell off the final listpublished by the JEMB Tuesday.

    According to Zakim Shah, people's objections and candidates'dual nationality left three candidates out of the race. But theauthority refused to identify them.

    However, he admitted that his department received severalobjections against the candidacy of regional warlord Abdul RashidDostum and former planning minister Hajji Mohammad Mohaqiq."We probed into the objections and complaints, but as per theconstitution we cannot disqualify any candidate unless theallegation is proved," he said.

    Both Dostum and Mohqiq, from the minorities of Uzbek and Hazara,have been accused of war crimes in the past and keeping privatemilitias at present.

    The Afghanistan's constitution bars any warlords or militaryleaders from standing for the election unless disarmed.The incumbent president Hamid Karzai, former education ministerMohammad Yunus Qanooni, Dostum, Mohaqiq and the only femalecandidate Masouda Jalal are prominent among the runners in therace. Enditem

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