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Saturday’s polls vital for Afghans: Abdullah
Kabul, Sep 27 (IANS) The upcoming twice-delayed presidential election slated for Saturday was crucial for Afghans as the new government could find new ways for ensuring peace and stability for the war-torn country, the government’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah said.
"A good election will have a good impact because somebody who becomes the president of the country, who has the backing of the people and the mandate of the people, could step on more seriously in the peace process," Abdullah told Xinhua news agency in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
"Peace is not something that outsiders would want us to do. It is something that comes from the hearts of the people from the minds of the people," he said.
Saturday’s presidential election will be the fourth in Afghanistan since 2001, when the US troops invaded the country to oust the Taliban regime.
Taliban militants who have vowed to derail the election, termed the voting process as a "ploy of foreign invaders to continue their occupation of Afghanistan", calling upon people to boycott it.
Responding to a query on Taliban’s intimidation of the polls, Abdullah said: "they have always been opposed to the elections, that is not new and that is unfortunate.
"I am concerned but I am also sure that the elections are going to take place,"
He added that the Taliban opposed polls in the past but "elections have taken place in the past but… They (the Taliban) should realize that if a good election takes palace, only people who are supporting peace process will come out".
A total of 18 contenders have been registered to run for the presidency with a five-year term and among the candidates are incumbent President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah.
More than 9 million eligible voters are expected to cast their ballots.