Ramzan Bashardost, an ethnic Hazara , was born in Qarabagh district , Ghazni province , of Afghanistan in a family of a respected government employees, he is fluent in Dari and Pashto. He completed his primary and intermediate education in Qarabagh and later in Maimana , Capital of Faryab in northern Afghanistan.He finished high school in Iran and then immigrated into Pakistan.In 1983, he left Pakistan for France where he spent more than 20 years,
earning degrees in law and political science. In 1989 he enrolled at Grenoble University where he did his Masters in Law. In 1990, he did his Masters in Diplomacy from Paris University. In 1992, he did his Masters in Political Science. In 1995, Bashardost received his Ph.D in Law from France's Toulouse University.Bashardost believes that mounting disgust
with warlord-dominated patronage networks has led Afghans to begin to
shift away from traditional ethnic-tribal politics toward issues of
substance like jobs and education. He says that the fact that he has
never fought in a war or joined a faction makes him more appealing to
disillusioned voters. "You can't find another candidate who thinks about
all the national interests of the Afghan people more than Ramazan
Bashardost," he says, lapsing into the third-person as is his habit.
Few, however, share his assessment of the way Afghan politics works.
His critique of Karzai and the warlords is matched by a loud disdain
for foreign aid agencies that have spent billions of dollars in
reconstruction contracts with lackluster results. As planning minister
in 2004, Bashardost called for non-governmental organizations to be
expelled (he would resign from the job out of frustration). Today,
Bashardost insists he's not against them all, just the "no-good guys"
who waste money on bogus projects while parading around in expensive
sport utility vehicles. Still, he estimates the cash-guzzling NGOs to be
about 90% of the total based in the country. "So I am the candidate of
the American taxpayer," he says, "not just the Afghan people."
No one questions his frugality. Bashardost, never married, sometimes
sleeps on a rickety bed by his tent and fields calls on a cracked cell
phone. He distributes most of his $2,000 monthly government salary to
the poor, he says. And his campaign, funded by donations and Afghans
living abroad, has cost less than $25,000 so far. (Other sources of
funds: posters and promotional DVDs sold to supporters for twenty cents
each.) "Bashardost has campaigned very effectively, traveling around the
country, reaching out to the poor as a populist on a bicycle," says
Haroun Mir, director of the Afghan Center for Research and Policy
Studies. "But no one believes he could ever be elected."
Although critics have long written him off as an eccentric destined
to stay at the fringe, Bashardost appears to have struck a chord. With
less than a week until Afghans go to the polls to vote for only the
second time to choose a president, a pair of recent polls showed he had
alternately 8% or 10% of voters surveyed last month, placing him third
behind president Hamid Karzai and his rival, Abdullah, and ahead of
Ashraf Ghani, the brainy former finance minister.
Bashardost rejects the numbers, and may be alone in thinking he can
still win. His campaign is unrelenting. As the sun crept over the
mountains to the east of the city, he and a small entourage headed for
the airport to catch a free flight on an Afghan Army plane to Herat, in
western Afghanistan, for another day on the road.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1916541,00.html#ixzz29CIBm7EQ
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