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Survey suggests Ghani’s reelection in Afghanistan

Ahead of key polls, survey by election watchdog says bulk of potential voters favor incumbent president

Shadi Khan Saif   | 08.08.2019
Survey suggests Ghani’s reelection in Afghanistan Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

KABUL, Afghanistan

A leading electoral watchdog in Afghanistan on Thursday revealed results of its pre-poll survey indicating potential victory for the incumbent President Ashraf Ghani in the key elections scheduled for September. 

The study by Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA) is based on interaction with more than 5,000 citizens across the country. Based on the study, some 43% respondents said they would vote while nearly 57% said they are not likely to take part in the elections amid raging insurgency all over the country and rejuvenated peace talks with the Taliban.

Based on this study, Ghani is closely followed by his power-sharing Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah for a likely victory in the September polls.

The two have been facing persistent allegations from rival candidates for allegedly using state resources for their electoral campaigns.

Among the total of 18 candidates also included former National Security Adviser Mohammad Haneef Atmar and former Mujahedeen leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

However, Atmar announced to suspend election campaign citing the peace process and the government's alleged meddling among the reasons.

Ibrahim Alakozay, one of the candidates, also warned that he would boycott the polls if the “state machinery continued to be at the disposal of Ghani” for the election campaign.

However, Dawood Shah, a political analyst, told Anadolu Agency the TEFA survey cannot be taken as 100% accurate as the situation remains fluid.

“President Ghani does have a strong team and support, but things can swing either way as political wrangling among all factions and rival camps continue while the Taliban continue to warn people against casting their votes”, he said.

Almost all 34 provinces of the country, including the capital Kabul, have witnessed a surge in the attacks from Taliban recently who are conducting peace talks with the U.S. in Qatar and have said that there will be no letup in their strikes in Afghanistan.

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