A leading Afghan presidential candidate suspended his campaign Thursday, casting increasing doubt that the elections will be held as scheduled on Sept. 28.
Mohammad Hanif Atmar, a former national security adviser to President Ashraf Ghani, had emerged as one of his leading contenders in the coming presidential polls. Atmar’s campaign has cited security issues as well as the ongoing peace process as reasons for the suspension.
Even though the Atmar campaign was mired in internal disputes, the announcement comes as another blow to an election already in doubt.
A few days ago, the Taliban issued a statement calling the elections “nothing more than a ploy to deceive the common people” and threatening to target election rallies.