The Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, and his challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, have both ruled out a power-sharing deal before the run-off presidential election is held in two weeks, saying the second round must be held as planned in order to bolster democracy.
Mr Karzai and Mr Abdullah, the former foreign minister, both said yesterday that they were committed to a second-round ballot, despite the huge security and logistical challenges and the threat of Taliban attacks on those who turn out to vote.
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