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Security challenges against candidates’ campaigns

AT News Report

KABUL: A number of presidential hopefuls have voiced concerns over the security challenges, saying that they can’t launch their electoral campaigns due to insecure situation.

Rahmatullah Nabil, a presidential candidate said Wednesday the deteriorating security situation had vastly damaged his campaign. He said the government informed him of the possible threats, but didn’t cooperate with him to resolve.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Nasrat Rahimi had earlier said that they have prioritized the candidates and their campaigns protection, adding that over 50 armored vehicles and hundreds of guards were provided for the candidates. “We provided armored vehicles for each of the candidates and their running mates, and also we appointed police forces for their safety,” he said.   

But some of the candidates claim that they didn’t receive essentials. 

The concerns come as on Sunday, an attack targeted the office of Amrullah Saleh, who is running as first vice president for Ashraf Ghani. The attack killed 20 people and wounded 40 others, most of them civilians.

Meanwhile, some of the candidates accused President Ghani of fraud in the election process, saying that he tried to misuse his authority in favor of his own team in the September elections. Ghani denies the accusations.   

Yousuf Rashid, head of the Transparent Election Foundation for Afghanistan (FEFA), called insecurity as one of possible reasons to cause election delay.

He said that the peace negotiations between the Taliban representatives and US officials had overshadowed the polls.

“Some of the candidates doubt if election will be held.”

On the other hand, Sohail Shahin, Taliban’s spokesman in Doha said the presidential election would affect the peace process. But the government pledges a fair and transparent election, saying that election will be held timely. 

The government said the election and peace are two separate processes, and peace will not postpone the presidential polls.

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