Wednesday 15 July 2009

List of Afghan Presidential candidates

After making a request to the independent electoral commission in Afghanistan for a list of presidential candidates in English earlier this week, I was duly sent the details. At the risk of boring my readers I am going to publish the list in full, not least because it has hardly been circulated. Here is the full list of 41 candidates:

Haji Rahim Jan Shinzad
Mohammad Yasin Safi
Mohammad Sarwar Ahmadzai
Eng. Moin-ul-din Ulfati
Dr. Habib Mangal
Zabih-U-llah Ghazi Noristani
Sayed Jalal Karim
Mirwais Yasini
Bismillah Shir
Bashir Ahmad Bizhan
Motasim Billah Mazhabi
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
Abdul Latif Pedram
Shahnawaz Tanai
Dr. Mohammad Nasir Anis
Mulla Abdul Salam Rockity
Zia-ul-haq Hafizi
Mohammad Akbar Oria
Baz Mohammad Kofi - withdrawn
Sangin Mohammad Rahmani
Mahbob-U-lah Koshani
Mohammad Hakim Torsan
Abdul Hasib Arian
Mulla Ghulam Mohammad Rigi
Ramazan Bashardost
Mawlawi Mohammad Sayed Hashimi - withdrawn
Abdul Majid Samim
Nasrullah Baryalai Arsalai - withdrawn
Alhaj Shah Mahmood Popal
Mrs. Shahla Ata
Dr. Ghulam Faroq Nijrabi
Alhaj Abdul Ghafor Zori
Mohammad Hashim Tawfiqi
Haji Hasan Ali Sultani
Hamid Karzai
Mawlana Abdul Qadir Imami Ghori
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah
Dr. Ferozan Fanah
Abdul Jabar Sabit
Hidayat Amin Arsala
Gul Ahmmad Yama

There is no indication of political party for any of the candidates, most of whom are unknown. However, there are two women and I recognise the names of several besides the incumbent. There is, for example, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the former foreign minister who says that President Karzai offered him a plum job if he decided not to run. There is also Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, former finance minister who many people believe is a possible serious contender.
At a slightly different level is Mullah Rockity. Readers may remember him as a former Taliban commander who earned his name due to his prowess with an RPG rocket launcher against the Soviets. After his arrest by the Americans in Kandahar in 2001, he was detained for almost a year before he was released (you can find a more detailed profile here).
Curiously, it appears that rumours are circulating in Kabul that President Karzai may withdraw from the race in favour of either Dr Ghani or Dr Abdullah. The rumours were reported in the newspaper Roznama Mandegar today. Yesterday, another newspaper, Wrazpanra Weesa, reported that up to 20 candidates were about to withdraw in favour of Dr Abdullah. Clearly there is something happening in the Presidential Palace.
Update 26/7/09: Two candidates have withdrawn from the presidential race in the last few days. Nasrullah Baryalai Arsalai withdrew in favour of Dr Abdullah Abdullah and Mawlawi Mohammad Sayed Hashimi, a Shi'ite cleric who leads the Islamic Revolution Movement of Afghanistan, withdrew in favour of Hamid Karzai. More withdrawals are expected in the coming days.
Update 2 - 31/7/09: Candidate Baz Mohammad Kofi announced his withdrawal from the presidential race in Kabul yesterday, urging his supporters to vote for Hamid Karzai.


Nomadic said...

Mullah Rockity? You couldn't MAKE it up. Sounds very Mighty Boosh. Don't see Jalali on your list, pretty sure he is a contender - or am I behind the curve?

Nick Fielding said...

Ali Ahmad Jalali, who served as Afghan Interior minister from 2002-05, has been an American citizen since 1987 and would have had to surrender this in order to stand in the Presidential election. Despite speculation to the contrary, he has decided not to take part.

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