As the people of Afghanistan head to the polls, we’re highlighting an archive talk from one of the candidates in today’s presidential election.
Ashraf Ghani is the former Finance Minister of Afghanistan. After two decades working at the World Bank and UN, Ghani returned to Afghanistan in 2001, after the fall of the Taliban, with the goal of rebuilding his native country. In 2002 he became Finance Minister under the incumbent president Hamid Karzai — whom Ghani is running against in today’s election.
Ghani has leveled accusations of corruption at Hamid Karzai, the expected election winner. Ghani’s presidential platform focuses on areas where he failed: fighting corruption, promoting education and economic development, and negotiating a cease-fire with the Taliban. Ghani is not expected to win today’s election, but there is a consolation: With the shift in U.S. focus from Iraq to Afghanistan, the Obama administration is pushing Afghan leaders to select a chief executive (to serve under the president) who will spearhead economic development efforts and reforms such as combating corruption and the opium trade. Ghani is rumored to be the favored candidate for this position.
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