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Campaigning is officially underway for Afghanistan’s presidential election, with 11 candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai. As NATO combat forces ready their withdrawal after nearly 13 years of war, the April 5th presidential vote will be a crucial test of whether Afghanistan can ensure a stable political transition.The election faces many hurdles: allegations of vote-rigging marred the 2009 election and security is a major concern.

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