Millions of Afghan voters are set to elect a new leader in the fourth presidential election since the Taliban armed group was thrown out of power in a United States-led invasion in 2001.

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission requested security for 5,373 polling centres PHOTO: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Polls will open 7 am local time (02:30 GMT) on Saturday and are scheduled to close by 5 pm (12:30 GMT). Preliminary results of the election are not expected before October 19.

A presidential candidate must secure 50 per cent of the vote to win outright.

In case no candidate crosses the 50 per cent threshold, a runoff will be held between the top two contenders in the second round in November, Aljazeera reported.

About 9.5 million voters are registered to cast their ballot to decide the fate of 15 candidates, including the incumbent, Ashraf Ghani, whose administration has been blighted by corruption allegations as well as overseeing the rising number of civilian casualties.

According to Aljazeera earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would withdraw $160m in planned infrastructure and other aid funding from Afghanistan, citing corruption and financial mismanagement by Ghani’s government.

Vanguard News Nigeria.

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