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Afghanistan prepares for second round of presidential elections

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Afghanistan prepares for second round of presidential elections


Afghans are preparing to head to the polls on Saturday to elect their new president.

Former foreign minister, Abdullah Abdullah,  is one of two top contenders for the job. He was a leader in the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance and won 45 percent of the vote in the first round of elections in April.

Ex-World Bank economist and former finance minister, Ashraf Ghani is the other favourite. He received 31.6 percent last time, but as an ethnic Pashtun is likely to gain more of the Pashtun vote that was split between several candidates before.

Outgoing president, Hamid Karzai, who under constitutional law is not allowed to stand for a third time, made a television address urging Afghans to vote for the candidate of their choice to enable a “stable, secure and developed future” for the country.

The elections come as foreign forces prepare to leave Afghanistan after 13 years with fears about the strength of the Taliban and the capability of Afghan troops in taking them on.

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