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Presidential Campaign Kick Off Today

The Afghan presidential election campaigns formally kicked off on Sunday, officials of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced.

The Presidential and Provincial Council elections are scheduled to be held on April 5 this year, and is expected to be a momentous step for the country marking the first democratic transition of Presidential power in Afghan history.

According to Election Law, Presidential campaigns will start on February 2 and last until April 2. Provincial Council

candidates can start their campaigns on March 4 and run them until April 2.

The candidates for the Presidential election include Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Zalmai Rassoul, Qayoum Karzai, Mohammad Daoud Sultanzoy, Sardar Mohammad Nadir Naeem, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, Qutbuddin Helal, Abdullah Abdullah, Abdul Rahim Wardak, Hedayat Amin Arsalan and Gul Agha Sherzai.

Officials of the IEC on Sunday urged the Presidential candidates to respect the campaigning regulations they have laid out.

The candidates are expected to start televised debates, organize rallies and post posters and billboards as part of their election campaign. However, all of their activities will be monitored by the IEC.

Financially, the Presidential candidates are restricted in the amount of expenditures they can make toward their campaigns.

Security has been a top concern for Afghan officials leading into this year's elections, but on Sunday the Ministry of Interior publically assured the eleven Presidential candidates that they would be safe during their campaigning.

On Saturday, unidentified gunmen shot dead two of Abdullah's aides in western Herat province.

Sunday, 02 February 2014, TOLO News

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