Torn by war and insurgency, Afghanistan votes for its next president tomorrow, choosing from among 37 candidates. NPR profiles the frontrunners:
- Hamid Karzai. The incumbent, a member of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, was elected in 2005 amid a swell of international backing. But lately the former activist’s popularity has been weighed down by government corruption and Taliban activity.
- Abdullah Abdullah. Karzai’s onetime foreign minister was allied with an anti-Taliban “national hero to many,” NPR notes. He would help the families of military casualties and decentralize government.
- Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Called “too American” by opponents, the former professor would make laws simpler and establish a watchdog network to report on national security.
- The rest. The 34 other candidates include two women and an ex-Taliban commander. Populist, simple-living MP Ramazan Bashardost has emerged recently as a contender.