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Afghan Presidential Election Debates Continue

Afghan presidential election debate on February 15, 2014
Afghan presidential election debate on February 15, 2014
Afghanistan’s televised presidential debates continue for a second day on February 16 with five candidates expected to speak on issues ranging from women’s rights to peace talks with the Taliban.

The debates are sponsored jointly by state broadcaster RTA and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan.

Candidates who’ve accepted the invitation to join the debates on February 16 include former Foreign Minister Zalmail Rasul; former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani; former presidential advisor Hedayat Amin Arsala; President Hamid Karzai’s brother, Qayum Karzai; and Prince Mohammad Nader Naim, the grandson of the late President Daud Khan's brother.

Salafist politician and former mujahedin commander Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf declined the invitation, citing security concerns.

Former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah was invited to take part in the first day of the broadcast debates on February 15 but pulled out shortly before the broadcast began.

Altogether, 11 candidates are trying to win the April 5 presidential election.