Ten candidates drop out of Afghan presidential race | world | Hindustan Times
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Ten candidates drop out of Afghan presidential race

Ten candidates have dropped out of Afghanistan's presidential race, leaving around 30 in the fray as campaigning ended on Monday for the country's second presidential election, an official said.

world Updated: Aug 18, 2009 13:01 IST

Ten candidates have dropped out of Afghanistan's presidential race, leaving around 30 in the fray as campaigning ended Monday for the country's second presidential election, an official said.

At least eight candidates, largely unknown before running for the top office, have withdrawn in favour of President Hamid Karzai ahead of Thursday's polls, said the incumbent's campaign team.

On Monday, four candidates -- Mohammad Hakim Torsan, Mohammad Nasir Anis, Mohmmas Yasin Safi and Shah Mahmood Popal -- announced their support for Karzai as the official two-month campaign period wound down.

Four other candidates had already pulled out in favour of Karzai.

Afghan media also reported two other candidates have withdrawn, throwing their weight behind former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, one of the leading contenders, and virtual unknown Sayed Jalal Karim.

Polls have put Karzai ahead of his rivals, followed by Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.

Forty-one candidates, including two women, originally registered to run for president. Although some announced their intentions to drop out in the media, only one had previously informed the electoral authority officially.