Poet and writer Abdul Latif Pedram electrified a lacklustre campaign by plunging into the marital politics of Islam: posing challenging questions about the right of Afghan men to have several wives and about women's divorce rights.
The reaction to his ideas was tectonic. . .
Pedram, 41, is no stranger to controversy. His open advocacy of federal government for Afghanistan has won him few friends among those who fear and resent such a plan. .
By raising such challenging question in Afghanistan's traditional thinking and strictly Islamic society, Pedram seems to be deliberately seeking to act as a catalyst for discussion, playing the role more of a classic intellectual . .
Born in the northern province in Badakshan, he first came to the capital in 1984. He studied literature at Kabul University, philosophy in Tehran and finally gained a doctorate in Islamic Studies in Paris at the Sorbonne.
Some allege that as he student he was involved with communism, editing the communist newspaper Haqiqat-e-Inqilab-e-Saur - The Truth of the Revolution. He hotly denies it.
"I have never written even for one second for the Democratic (Communist) Party and I didn't have an affiliation with them," he said. He concedes only that "during the communist era, I was in Kabul and involved in journalism affairs".
He is now spokesman for Hezb-e-Kangara-e-Millie (the National Congress Party) - a newcomer to the political scene in Afghanistan, established two years ago in Brussels by just 500 people and registered with the justice ministry earlier this summer.
He explained that while it is true that in Islam a man can take up to four wives, according to the Holy Koran, every wife should be treated justly and if a man cannot guarantee equal treatment of his wives, he is not allowed to take more than one.
Pedram questions whether a man can indeed treat more than one wife justly and equally.
Pedram's views on federal government are equally, if not more, challenging to some than his foray into women's politics - particularly some of the Pashtun majority.
Then he reels out a list of Pashtun provinces where his party has Pashtun supporters - Kandahar, Helmand, Logar and Jalalabad.
Turning to the current state of politics in Afghanistan, Pedram is scathing about the current interim president. "I have always called [President Hamed] Karzai a puppet of America and I call him that now," he said.
He got 14.1% in his native Badakhshan, and 4.7% in next-door Takhar. Unfortunately, he got only 2.7% in Kabul, running fourth.