Three candidates running for president of Afghanistan in this week's national elections have held their first debate, just hours before official campaigning ended.
President Hamid Karzai, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and former planning minister Ramazan Bashardost faced-off in a nationally broadcast debate that did not include top challenger Abdullah Abdullah.
The former foreign minister decided not to attend.
Mr. Karzai presented a largely subdued defense of his seven years in office. He touted his performance creating jobs and improving the economy and education.
The others largely criticized the president. Bashardost said he is the candidate of all people, including those fighting against the state. Ghani criticized Mr. Karzai for putting warlords in power and not bringing about stability.
Meanwhile, controversial, ethnic-Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum has returned to Afghanistan in a move viewed as strengthening electoral support for Mr. Karzai ahead of Thursday's poll.