Asia - Pacific

Ex-Afghan security adviser announces presidential bid

Mohammad Haneef Atmar promises ‘peace and moderation’

Ex-Afghan security adviser announces presidential bid

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan

Afghanistan's former National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar officially announced his bid to run for the president in country's elections set for April 2019.

Atmar was flanked by an array of powerful political figures, including former ministers and governors at the Independent Election Commission office in the capital Kabul.

The former security adviser has chosen Mohammad Yonus Qanoni, a leader of the Jamiat-e-Islami party, as his first vice-president, and Mohammad Mohaqiq, deputy to the Chief Executive Officer of the current National Unity Government, as his second vice-president.

At a presser prior to submitting nomination papers, Atmar said his electoral team would strive for victory under the slogan of ‘Peace and Moderation”. He stated the current government is not capable in the face of the war, which he pledged to end.

As President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s longstanding ally, Atmar parted ways with the president in August last year citing "serious differences".

The landmark presidential elections scheduled for April 2019 in the war-ravaged country have been delayed for at least three months amid political wrangling and proposed peace talks.

The Independent Election Commission has underlined the final date for submitting nomination papers for the presidential polls would not be extended from the set deadline of January 20.

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