Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Who’s running? The candidates vying to be Afghanistan’s next president

< 1 min

CNN, 4 April 2014

In this pre-election look on the candidates in the upcoming Afghan elections, AAN's Martine van Bijlert is quoted: 

"Arshaf [sic] Ghani and Abdullah are campaigning on the implicit message that they will bring change," Martine van Bijlert, Co-director, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) told CNN from Kabul.

"Abdullah has long tried to be a leader of the opposition. Arshaf Ghani is going on the impression of being a highly educated man, very serious. So the two of them are trying to give this impression of change. Zalmai Rassoul is presenting himself as the favored candidate of the president … representing continuity." …

On Ghani enlisting the support of ex-warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum as his running mate she said:

With this choice, van Bijlert says, "he'll appeal to the Uzbek vote. The ethnic groups are not solid block,s but the Uzbek one is probably the most solid one. It also shows us that he's prepared to play politics, he's not only principled, which goes both ways. For some people that's a plus and for others it isn't." …

As with 2009, voters' hopes are tinged with skepticism going into Saturday's vote. "People (remember) the last election," van Bijlert says."They know there's been a lot of manipulation, a lot of irregularities. They hope it will be better but most people are fairly realistic."


Elections presidential candidates