Incumbent Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Sunday registered with the Election Commission to contest the presidential poll slated for 20 July.

“Our objective is to have a strong government… Only a strong government can overcome the prolonged 40 year-old crisis and can ensure justice in society to stabilise peace and security,” the President said in a speech after registering his candidacy.

A total of 14 politicians including Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, former National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar and former warlord Gulbudin Hekmatyar are in the fray, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hekmatyar, who was also the country’s Prime Minister from 1992 to 1996, is believed to be responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Kabul during the 1990s civil war and was nicknamed the “Butcher of Kabul”.

The election was initially scheduled to take place on 20 April.