Abdullah ready for televised debate with Ghani

 
KABUL (Pajhwok): Embarking on his runoff election campaign, frontrunner Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Thursday said he was ready for a televised debate with his main challenger Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
Ahmadzai, who finished second in the first round of presidential elections, has invited Abdullah to a televised debate on their future programmes and Islamic knowledge.Abdullah told his maiden campaign rally in Kabul that debate was part of electioneering and he was ready to participate in a debate to be aired by multiple media outlets.
However, Abdullah on Wednesday called Ahmadzai’s challenge a joke, saying: “I don’t see any need to prove my religious credentials because people know what the real issue is?”
But today he said: “If the people and media outlets ask for an earnest debate, I am at their service.” He added the debate should be covered by all media outlets because he needed time for his election campaign.
The 20-day electioneering for the runoff presidential elections due on June 14 kicked off on Thursday. Abdullah said he had never committed demagoguery and had always explained his programmes honestly to the nation.
He urged the people to throng polling stations and cast their votes in the same spirit they showed on April 5. He said his team represented all sections of society and was committed to the rule of law, peace, stability, security and reconstruction.
Abdullah also cited a long list of problems and future plans which he would implement if won the runoff. “We secured most votes from women on the April 5, and we have special programme for them if we win.”
“We are starting as of today our visits to provinces to explain our plans to people,” the former foreign minister said, vowing to establish a government accountable to the masses.
Stressing positive competition, Abdullah said they wanted the runoff to be conducted in a fair, transparent and inclusive manner, asking the electoral commissions to do their job with honesty.
“We have shared our views and suggestions, which are mostly reformative, with the electoral commissions to have a better runoff,” he added.
Called the runoff a new experience for the people, he said his team was committed to ensuring justice, equality, reforms and peace, saying problems of Kuchi tribesmen and villagers would be resolved in a proper way.
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