Days ahead of Afghanistan’s presidential poll, the election campaign is heating up.
Most of the candidates vying for the presidency have spent millions making themselves known to voters — except for Ramazan Bashardost. Independent predictions give him around 9 percent of the vote — not enough to threaten current incumbent President Hamid Karzai and the other leading candidate Abdullah Abdullah — but some think he could trigger a second round of voting. Nusurallah Stanikzay from Kabul University said: ‘‘The reason why Ramazan Bashardost is getting support from a big majority is because his criticism of the government is exactly what the majority of Afghan citizens think and he has managed to campaign in a practical way among people and he is a recognised face in Afghanistan.’‘ With many ordinary Afghan’s still suffering abject poverty Bashardost’s campaign to stamp out corruption is wooing voters. ‘‘The money donated to Afghanistan went to the pockets of powerful people in the government, we have not benefited from that money and nothing has been done for us,’‘ one man said. Security in the capital Kabul remains tight for the August 20th poll with campaigning due to end on Tuesday, two days before voting begins.