Afghanistan Presidential Election Front-runners

Global Business

None of this year’s Afghan presidential candidates is expected to get enough votes to be declared a clear winner after this weekend. So political watchers are predicting a May run-off between the top two candidates

There are 11 candidates running for president in Afghanistan. Abdullah Abdullah, Ashraf Ghani and Zalmai Rassoul are widely seen as the frontrunners. The men have some commonalities but their public personas are quite different. CCTV’s Bianca Davie reports

Afghanistan Presidential Election Front-runners

Of the Afghan presidential candidates, none is expected to get enough votes, to be declared a winner this weekend. Political watchers are predicting a May run-off between the top two vote-getters. CCTV's Bianca Davie breaks it down.

Abdullah Abdullah—some would peg him as “the outsider”. In a country where the Pashtun ethnic group makes up more than half of the population, he is usually associated with the Tajik side of his heritage.Abdullah is an eye surgeon by trade who spent some time as a member of outgoing president Hamid Karzai’s cabinet.He’s a big advocate for changing the way Afghanistan’s government agencies operate.
Ashraf Ghani could be called “the businessman or manager” of the group. Ghani was a Karzai adviser and finance minister. He worked at the World Bank’s headquarters during the 1990s. Educated in the U-S, Ghani gave up his American passport to run for president in his native Afghanistan five years ago.

That leaves Zalmai — the so-called “establishment candidate”. Like Abdullah, he trained to be a medical doctor. Up until a few months ago, he was Karzai’s foreign minister. He is only one of three in the field who has chosen a female running mate.