Security Fears Loom Over Afghan Presidential Election Campaign

Days ahead of the formal start of campaigning for this year’s presidential election in Afghanistan, candidates and their supporters are concerned about the growing security challenges in the country. They point to frequent terrorist attacks in Afghan cities and the Taliban’s control over large swathes of the countryside as major impediments to campaigning in the vast country ahead of the September 28 election. “I don’t think the candidates can reach people everywhere,” said Shahab Hakimi, one of the 18 candidates. “Some voters are likely to stay away in order to protect themselves [from possible reprisals].” Hakimi said the government has failed to honor its promises to improve security for the election process. Fazal Ghani Haqmal, a spokesman for Islamist candidate Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, also sees little chance of reaching the millions of potential voters......................

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Helpline 1090