| ||10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race|
By Hakim Basharat & Meer Agha Nasrat Samimi
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KABUL - The Independent Election Commission (IEC), officially releasing a preliminary list of presidential and provincial council candidates for next year’s elections, on Tuesday said 10 among the 27 registered presidential hopefuls made it to the April 5 race.
Released at a press conference in Kabul, the IEC list carried the names of Abdullah Abdullah, Abul Rab Rassoul Sayyaf, Qutbuddin Hilal, Abuld Rahim Wardak, Dr Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Dr Zalmai Rassoul, Sardar Mohammad Nader Naeem, Qayyum Karzai, Hidayatullah Amin Arsala and Gul Agha Sherzai as eligible candidates.
Those absent from the list were former commerce and industry minister Anwarul Haq Ahadi, Syed Ishaq Gilani, Bismillah Sher, Fazal Karim Najimi, Hashmat Ghani Ahmadzai, Sarwar Ahmadzai, Hamidullah Qadiri, Daud Sultanzoy, Azizullah Lodin, Salman Ali Dostzada, Farooq Azam, Khudija Ghaznavi, Abdulhadi Dubair, Noor Rahman Lewal, Dr. Dawar Ahmad Naderi and Nader Shah Ahmadzai.
Speaking on the occasion, IEC chief Mohammad Yousaf Nuristani said the 16 presidential aspirants were disqualified after scrutiny of their documents showed they did not meet candidacy conditions.
The IEC chief said the disqualified candidates had 20 days to appeal the commission’s decision, adding the disqualifications left 10 in the race, out of 26 candidates, who originally applied to contest the April 5 ballot.
Among a total of 3056 people, including 323 women, registering for provincial council seats, 2395 could make it to the polls, including 308 females.
Nuristani said the process of submitting complaints against candidates had formally begun with the announcement of the initial list, asking people to approach the authorities in this regard.
About the delay in announcing the list, Nuristani said they had to wait for the Ministry of Foreign Affiars to give them information on candidates who held dual nationalities. A final list of candidates will be displayed next month.