Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai will not run for a third term of office, his press service said on Thursday.
There had earlier been speculation that he might amend the Afghan Constitution, which does not provide for a third consecutive presidential term.
In 2002, Afghan-born Karzai was appointed interim president of the Afghan transitional administration after the U.S.-led anti-terrorist operation in the country to overthrow the Taliban movement.
In 2004, he became the first elected president of Afghanistan and then won a second term in 2009, which was mired by rigging allegations.
Analysts said by the time Karzai’s second term expires in 2014, the Afghan army should take over responsibility for security in the country from the international contingent, which is expected to leave the country by that time.