Kabul: Over two dozen politicians, including some former ministers, have registered their names to contest in the next Afghan presidential election set for April 5 next year.
Sunday was the busiest day for the election commission here when half of the presidential hopefuls offered their candidacy, Xinhua reported.
The registration period for the candidates was set Sep 16-Oct 5.
Prominent among those have joined the presidential race are two former foreign ministers Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmai Rassoul, and two former finance ministers Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Anwarul Haq Ahadi. Former defense minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and a former resistance leader and lawmaker, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayaf, are also in the fray.
All the candidates have almost similar mottos which include working for peace and ensuring national unity and viable security in the country.
Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai contested in the previous presidential race in 2009 but were beaten by incumbent President Hamid Karzai.
The final list of the presidential candidates, according to the Election Complaints Commission, will be made public within the next one and a half months.
Taliban militants fighting the Afghan government to regain power have already termed the elections as a "waste of time" and vowed to disrupt the electoral process.
The hardliner Taliban outfit has already killed the head of the election body in the northern Kunduz province and abducted two staff of the election entity in the northwest Faryab province.