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Tribal Council Endorses Abdullah Abdullah

The Tribal Solidarity Council of Afghanistan (TSCA) announced its endorsement of Presidential candidates Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Monday. TSCA also criticized the current government's failure to maintain security and pursue effective anti-corruption policies.

With less than two months remaining before the elections, the 11 Presidential candidates are looking to secure the support of influential political coalitions, parties and civil groups for their candidacies. The TSCA's endorsement is likely to give a boost of momentum to Abdullah's campaign.

Abdullah and his opponent Gul Agha Sherzai began campaigning in Ghazni and Farah provinces on Monday. Many have criticized the 11 candidates for largely limiting their campaigns to Kabul, neglecting the millions of voters in other cities and more remote areas around the country.

Although security was initially a concern for the candidates, security officials have assured the campaigns that they would be fully protected as they set out around the country to attract voters.

On Monday, after announcing the endorsement, TSCA spoke out about the need for transparency in the upcoming elections.

"On behalf of TSCA, I want to call on the Election Commission and the responsible team to take practical steps to ensure transparent elections so that people's votes are not wasted," TSCA Chairman Ghazi Nawaz Tanai said. "God forbid, if the election is subject of any fraud, it would have severe negative consequences for the country."

Many of the candidates have expressed an acute anxiety about government officials abusing their powers to meddle in the election process and effect its outcome. Local officials and security personnel were widely observed engaging in fraud in the 2009 Presidential elections.

During that election, Abdullah Abdullah was the runner-up to President Hamid Karzai. He forfeited a second round of voting, however, citing rampant fraud as a insurmountable obstacle to his victory, casting further doubt on the legitimacy of the elections.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014, TOLO News, 

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