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Page last updated at 13:54 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 14:54 UK

Karzai confirms re-election bid

Hamid Karzai
Mr Karzai won the presidential election in 2004

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has confirmed publicly for the first time that he is going to stand for re-election in August.

Mr Karzai told a news conference in Kabul that he would register in a few days' time as a candidate.

The presidential election was to be held this month but was postponed due to security and logistics problems.

Mr Karzai has had a testing relationship with his Western allies over recent months.

There have been a number of high-profile differences.

Some Western nations have accused his government of failing to tackle corruption or effectively counter the Taleban insurgency.

Mr Karzai has also suffered a Western backlash over a new law that says a woman from the country's Shia minority must have sex with a husband when he desires.

Mr Karzai has promised a review.

For his part, Mr Karzai has regularly expressed frustration at the number of civilian casualties in raids by US and Nato forces.

Challengers

Mr Karzai has ruled since 2002 and won the presidential election in 2004.

He said at a press conference with visiting UK PM Gordon Brown on Monday: "In a few days I too will go to register, with my vice-presidents."

The Supreme Court extended his term until 20 August to account for the poll delay.

The Afghan election authorities say more than 40 candidates, including at least three former key ministers, are set to challenge Mr Karzai.



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