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President Karzai: Presidential Candidates Will Have to Quit Govt. Posts

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday said in a closed Council of Ministers session that any high-ranking officials who nominate themselves to run in the presidential election must resign from their posts, according to a senior government official.

The comment was later backed up by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) which said this is a requirement under the election law.

During the ministers’ meeting, Karzai also stressed the importance of hosting a transparent election, according to the official who spoke to TOLOnews on the condition of anonymity.

Karzai’s comments came as rumours circulated that Minister of Education Farooq Wardak will run as a presidential candidate, although he has denied the claims.

“These are just rumors and still Mr. Wardak has not decided about the election. It is not clear yet,” ministry spokesperson Amanullah Eman told TOLOnews.

Meanwhile the IEC has announced that the time period for presidential hopefuls to register themselves for the presidential election and confirmed that high-ranking officials will be expected to resign from their current jobs.

“According to the election law, any member of the cabinet, presidential palace advisers, governors, or deputy governors must resign from their posts before they nominate themselves to run in the presidential election,” IEC Noor Mohammad Noor spokesman told TOLOnews Tuesday.

The commission said aspiring candidates can register their names from 24 Sonbula until 14 Mizan in the coming Persian year 1392 – or 2 September until 23 September 2013.

“The time has been determined for all candidates’ names to be registered and they must register in a 20-day period,” he added.

The presidential election will be held on 5 April 2014. (Tolo News)

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