KABUL, June 27: Hamid Karzai on Saturday called on Taliban and other militants to “vote for the president they want” in Afghanistan’s presidential election, while a Taliban spokesman said militants would “disrupt” the vote without harming civilians.
Forty-one candidates are running for president in the Aug. 20 vote. A recent poll showed Karzai with a big lead over his opponents despite accusations of widespread government corruption and the increasingly bloody Taliban-led insurgency.
“I call upon the Taliban to come and participate in Afghanistan’s election, to vote for and elect their future president,” Karzai said at a news conference.
The Taliban are not fielding candidates and have warned Afghans against voting in the election. A militant spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said insurgents will “try our best to disrupt the election” because the US supports the election process.
“Whatever is to the benefit to the Americans, we are against it,” Mujahid said.
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