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Former Politicians, Warlords Vie to Lead Afghanistan

Afghanistan's former Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul (R) receives a form to register as a candidate for the presidential election at Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Kabul October 6, 2013.
Afghan politicians and former warlords reached last-minute deals as they officially submited their names to run in the country's upcoming Presidential election to succeed President Karzai.

Nominations closed Sunday.

The final days of the nomination period were marked by a frenzy of intrigue as former warlords, tribal leaders and veteran politicians formed alliances.

Prominent among the candidates are former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, former foreign minister and President Karzai's rival in 2009 Abdullah Abdullah, former warlord Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf and President Karzai's elder brother Qayum Karzai.

Karzai will step down next year and the Afghan nation will go to polls to elect its new President in April 2014.

A final list of contenders will be announced on November 16, with official campaigning beginning in February.

The change in Kabul's Presidential palace coincides with the U.S. troop drawdown by the end of next year.