Qayyum Karzai quits Afghan presidential race

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Associated Press

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 5 at 1:06 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A campaign official says the Afghan president's elder brother is dropping out of the April 5 presidential race and throwing his support behind the country's former foreign minister.

The official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, told The Associated Press Wednesday that President Hamid Karzai's brother, Qayyum Karzai, was dropping out of the race and will back Zalmai Rassoul.

The decision came after days of speculation and backroom meetings, including some held at the presidential palace.

Although Hamid Karzai has not come out in support of any one candidate, he publicly declared he did not support his brother's candidacy. He said he had urged his brother not to run.

Hamid Karzai, who has served two terms, is not eligible to run.

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