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16 Afghan Presidential Hopefuls Disqualified

Independent Elections Commission chief Ahmad Yousuf Nuristani, center, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Oct. 22, 2013
Afghan election officials have disqualified more than half of the candidates who registered to run in next year's presidential race.

The country's Independent Election Commission said Tuesday that 16 of the 26 potential candidates were disqualified for reasons such as not having enough voter signatures or filing incomplete forms.

Presidential hopefuls were required to submit the voter identification details of 100,000 supporters from at least 20 provinces and deposit a fee of about $18,000 [one million Afghanis].

The 10 candidates remaining in the race include Qayim Karzai, brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Qayim Karzai, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani.

The disqualified candidates can appeal and a final list of candidates is to be released on November 16.

Next year's vote is seen as critical to the future of Afghanistan, as NATO combat troops complete their withdrawal from the country.

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