KABUL (AFP) - Afghanistans electoral authority unveiled Saturday a final list of 41 candidates for August presidential elections, including incumbent Hamid Karzai, amid criticism of the large field. The number is down from a provisional list of 44 people, most of them unknown, after two men were disqualified and one dropped out, Independent Election Commission president Azizullah Lodin told reporters. Still in the running are former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, seen by many observers as the strongest challengers to Karzai, who is going for a second term. But Lodin complained that many of the other candidates did not merit being on the lengthy list, which he said would be confusing for Afghanistans largely illiterate public and expensive to print. He was scathing of some of the runners, who include two women, without naming them. There are people among the candidates that even if you are not a psychiatrist you would say take them to the Ali Abad hospital, he said, referring to a Kabul mental hospital. The law says a candidate must have a good reputation, has not committed actions against Islam and national issues. A number of candidate are famous for committing actions against national interests, he said. The Electoral Complaints Commission had expelled Turkman factional warlord Muhammad Akbar Bai and largely unknown candidate Sayyed Jafar Hufyani as well as one of the vice president nominations, Lodin said. Lodin would not say why these men were barred but the commission said last week that it had disqualified 57 people from the simultaneous presidential and provincial council vote, most of them for links to illegal armed groups. Karzais controversial running mate, Mohammed Qasim Fahim, accused of abuses in Afghanistans decades of war and involvement in crime today, was not among those it expelled. Lodin criticised electoral laws that set a low bar for qualification, with candidates requiring only Afghan parents and citizenship, to be at least 40 years old and to have no links to crime. If I ask one, 'Do you have an education, have you studied at school?, (he says), 'No.; 'Do you have work experience?, 'No. 'What have you done, were you a mullah in a mosque at least?, 'No, and today I have come to be your president tomorrow. I am wasting your time, and the nations time and money, Lodin complained. If people had been accepted on merit, maybe we would have two, three or four people left and the rest would have been dismissed, the official said. Seventeen men and one woman ran in the first presidential elections, held in 2004 and won by Karzai with 55.4 percent of the vote. Around 16.5 million people are registered to vote this year but the illiterate among them could find it difficult to spot their candidate on the dense ballot paper, Lodin said. Kabul University political science lecturer Wadir Safi said the hefty list was a reflection of political immaturity in Afghanistan which started on the path of democracy after the 2001 ouster of the extremist Taliban regime. Candidates had been unable to create alliances based on political vision because most of them lack that vision or ideology and are only thinking of their own interests, he said. Safi said he expected a number of the candidates some of whom he said had been put up by tribes and even other countries seeking influence in Afghanistan to withdraw in favour of another candidate closer to election day. Nonetheless, people will not be able to judge well from this long list, he said.