KABUL: Afghan officials yesterday disqualified more than half of the candidates for the 2014 presidential election, marking a chaotic opening stage in the country’s first democratic transfer of power. Of 26 candidates who had registered with IEC, after checking documents, 10 made it to the election race, Independent Election Commission chief Yousof Nooristani said. All major names remained in the April 5 vote seen as a key test of Afghanistan’s progress as the US-led Nato coalition pulls out after 13 years of fighting the Taliban. “Those who couldn’t make it had problems, they could not fulfil the requirements in the election law, including not having enough voter signatures from all provinces or some of their forms were incomplete,” Nooristani said. Among the leading candidates are former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, the president’s elder brother Qayum Karzai and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.
Islamabad to issue bond
ISLAMABAD: The federal government will issue $650m bonds by December 2013 for international banks and financial institutions. The duration of the bond will be from five to seven years. The Sharif Nawaz government has a better image abroad than previous governments and foreign elements are satisfied with its performance, official say. Agencies