At stake in this election:
- The office of President of Afghanistan
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: President Hamid KARZAI *
- Head of Government: President Hamid KARZAI
- Assembly: Afghanistan has a bicameral National Assembly (Jirga) consisting of the House of Elders (Meshrano Jirga) with 102 seats and the House of People (Wolesi Jirga) with 249 seats.
* The president is both chief of state and head of government.
Description of electoral system:
- The President is elected by absolute majority vote through a two-round system to serve a 5-year term.
- In the House of Elders (Meshrano Jirga), 34 members are elected by regional legislatures to serve 4-year terms, 34 members are elected by regional legislatures to serve 3-year terms and 34 members are appointed by the President to serve 5-year terms*. In the House of People (Wolesi Jirga) 249 members are elected by single non-transferable vote to serve 5-year terms.**
* The members of the House of Elders will be chosen by their provincial and district councils. The president will also be allowed to nominate candidates to the House of Elders. The nominees will include two representatives of the Kuchi community, two representatives for the disabled. It is also required that half the nominees are women.
** There are 34 multi-member districts corresponding to the 34 provinces. Seats are allocated in proportion to provincial population. District magnitudes range from 2 to 33. councils each elected two members. Afghanistan will not have a functioning assembly until January 2004. In the interim, the Emergency Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) acts as the country's parliamentary body.
Main Candidates in the Presidential race:
- Hamid KARZAI
- Mohammad Yunos QANUNI
Party: National Liberation Front
- Hahi Mohammad MOHAQIQ***
- Abdul Rashid DOSTUM****
- Abdul Latif PIDRAM
Party: National Congress Party of Afghanistan
- Masooda JALAL
- Sayed Ashaq GILANI
Party: National Solidarity Movement of Afghanistan
- Ahmad Shah AHMADZAI
Party: Independent (Islamic Call Organization of Afghanistan)
- Abdul Satar SIRAT
- Homayoon Shah AASIFI**********
- Ghulam Farooq NEJRABI
Party: Afghanistan Independence Party
- Sayed Abdul Hadi DABIR
- Abdul Hafiz MANSOOR*************
- Abdul Hadi KHALILZAI
- Mir Mahfuz NEDAHI
- Mohammad Abrahim RASHID
- Wakil MANGAL
- Abdul Hasib AARIAN
*** Hahi Mohammad MOHAQIQ is running as independent in this election, but he is the party leader of the Islamic Unity Party of the People of Afghanistan.
**** Abdul Rashid DOSTUM is running as independent in this election, but he is the leader of the National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan.
********** Homayoon Shah AASIFI is running as independent in this election, though he is closely identified with the National Unity Movement.
************* Abdul Hafiz MANSOOR is running as independent in this election, but is a member of the Burhanuddin Rabbani's Islamic Society of Afghanistan.
Last Presidential election:
- This was the first time Afghanistan held presidential elections since the establishment of the transitional government.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 28,513,677 (July 2004 est.)
- Registered Voters: 9,716,413 (September 2004 official release)