Afghan opposition leader declares candidacy for president
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A prominent Afghan opposition leader declared his candidacy on Tuesday for next year's presidential election, a key vote that will help determine the success or failure of 12 years of United States-led military and political intervention in the country.
Mr Abdullah Abdullah was the runner up to President Hamid Karzai in the 2009 elections, dropping out just ahead of a runoff vote following allegations of massive fraud in the first round.
The April 5 vote will elect a new president and provincial councils countrywide. They are considered critical in determining Afghanistan's future following the withdrawal of all foreign combat troops at the end of 2014. The country's international financial and military backers have said a smooth transition during the presidential election is necessary to ensure the country's stability.
US and international donors have pledged more than US$8 billion (S$10 billion) yearly in aid to keep Afghanistan's military and economy running, including funds for development and infrastructure projects.