File - This combo of photographs taken on March 30, 2014, shows a list of Afghan presidential candidates on a copy of the Afghan presidential ballot paper in Kabul. Afghans will go to the polls to elect a new president on April 5th.(AFP PHOTO)
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Take your pick in Afghan pollsThe designs help illiterate voters differentiate between hundreds of contenders standing in presidential and provincial council elections on April 5, a decade after the first polls of the country's post-Taliban era.The symbols are decided through a mixture of candidate preferences and allocation by the Independent Election Commission, which is organizing the vote.Eight candidates in the race to succeed President Hamid Karzai have launched nationwide poster campaigns that prominently feature their personal symbol. Ashraf Ghani stuck to the same symbol as in his unsuccessful 2009 campaign – the Quran holy book, which might be perceived as an unfair choice in a devout Muslim nation such as Afghanistan.The simultaneous elections for council seats in Afghanistan's 34 provinces demand plenty of imagination to dream up symbols for each candidate, with 457 people running in Kabul province alone.Afghan polls have often been targeted by militants and the 2014 campaign has seen several bloody suicide attacks in Kabul against election offices, a luxury hotel and compounds where foreigners live.
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