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Opposition alliance to announce candidate for presidential election

AT news Report-KABUL: Afghanistan’s grand coalition met on Thursday to hammer out an agreement over a joint candidate for the next year presidential election.

Officials from the Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan said their pick will be announced in coming days.

Close aides to former national security advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar have said that Atmar will run as a presidential candidate next year. Some of Afghanistan’s mainstream political parties such as Jamiat-e-Islami party, Hizb-e-Wahdat-e-Islami party and The National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan part of the GNCA.The GNCA has said it will not support a candidate outside of this alliance.

According to GNCA, the coalition has also held discussions with Atmar, former minister of interior Mohammad Omar Daudzai, and the former chief of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency – the National Directorate of Security (NDS) Rahmatullah Nabil.

“We will finalize our candidate from within our coalition and will introduce him soon to the faithful people of Afghanistan. We will have eight electoral teams which include the president and his three vice presidents, the prime minister and his three deputies,” said Ahmad Zia Massoud, deputy head of Jamiat-e-Islami.

The coalition also noted that Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah has committed to supporting the GNCA candidate in the presidential elections. Bashir Ahmad Tayyanj said the coalition a major political movement in Afghanistan has the capacity to bring about change in Afghanistan.“We will continue our work with more energy and with more power,” he said.

The coalition its political allies meanwhile reiterated calls to the Independent Election Commission (IEC) to make sure that non-biometric votes are separated from valid votes and advised the IEC not to be influenced by government officials.

On another front, officials from the Coalition for the Salvation of Afghanistan are holding meetings with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar-led Hizb-e-Islami party and other movements to try to reach a consensus on a single ticket.

“First the partywants a broad foundation to be created and then we can come to a consensus about a single election team,” said Humayoun Jarir.

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