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A third candidate retires in favour of President Karzai
By: Rahmani, Date: 03/08/2009
KABUL (PAN): Independent election candidate Abdul Majid Samim has pulled out of the presidential race in favour of President Hamid Karzai. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Samim said he had retired in support of the incumbent president -- the best of all contenders. "Since the people consider Karzai a better candidate, I don't want to challenge him, because public aspirations are more important than my personal ambitions. If the people accept Karzai, so do I." Wahid Omar, spokesman for President Karzai's campaign office, viewed Samim's withdrawal as an important sign and said that it would boost his chances of winning a second term. Support for Karzai was growing with each passing day in the lead-up to the polls, claimed Omar, who hoped more candidates would retire in favour of the president in the days to come. Answering a question about election transparency and security concerns, Omar said they being a team campaigning for a contender wanted the process to be free and fair. Obaidullah and Sayed Shah Agha, Samim's picks for vice-presidents, were also present at the press conference. Samim is the third presidential candidate after Maulvi Muhammad Saeed Hashmi and Baz Muhammad Kofi to withdraw in favour of Karzai. Nasrullah Baryalay Arsalaee has withdrawn in favour of former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah.
 
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