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Afghan election campaign begins

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Section: International News Geography: South Asia Afghanistan Topics: elections

September 30, 2004

Afghan election campaign begins

On September 7th, Afghanistan's first presidential election campaign began with a 17-man field of candidates. Interim president Hamid Karzai is the favourite to win a plurality of votes cast on October 9th, but if he does not win at least 51% of the electorate there will be a run-off in November. Mr. Karzai's main opponent is his education minister Yunus Qanuni, who has the support of Northern Alliance warlord Mohammed Fahim. President Karzai dropped Fahim as his election running mate in July.

The campaign call comes amid Taliban threats to create chaos in the country and derail the elections. NATO forces in Afghanistan are at heightened readiness to respond to Taliban threats, and the US has requested that Canada delay rotating its 2000 troops - which are being replaced with 1000 - out of the country. Federal opposition parties have criticized the government for withdrawing its troops at such a crucial time, though they admit that the current state of the Canadian military allows few other options.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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