KABUL (Reuters/AFP) - Afghanistan ordered Western and domestic media on Tuesday (tomorrow) to impose a blackout on coverage of violence during Thursdays presidential election, saying it did not want Afghans to be frightened away from the polls. Taliban have vowed to disrupt the election and authorities fear reports of violence on election day could hurt turnout and damage the chances of staging a successful vote. Two decrees were issued, one from the Foreign Ministry banning all broadcasts of information about violence while polls were open, and the other from the Interior Ministry requiring reporters to keep away from the scene of any attacks. We have taken this decision in the national interest of Afghanistan in order to encourage people and raise their morale to come out and vote, Siamak Herawi, a spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, told Reuters. This decision will control the negative impact of the media. If something happens, this will prevent them from exaggerating it, so that people will not be frightened to come out and vote. The Head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) said the decrees would not stop Afghan and foreign journalists from providing information to the public during the crucial election period. It shows the weakness of the government and we condemn such moves to deprive people from accessing news, Rahimullah Samander told Reuters. A vibrant and often chaotic domestic media has emerged in the years following the Talibans ousting in 2001, with privately run TV and radio stations as well as newspapers and magazines. There are also scores of international media covering the elections. All domestic and international media agencies are requested to refrain from broadcasting any incidence of violence during the election process from 6:00am to 8:00pm on August 20, 2009, said a version of one decree released in English by the Foreign Ministry on behalf of the Afghan Security Council. It did not explain the legal basis for the order or specify what the consequences might be for disobeying it. Although the English version described the decree as a request, the version in Dari, one of Afghanistans official languages, said reporting on violence during the election would be strictly forbidden. In the second decree, the Interior Ministry said it requests all respected mass media not to enter the scene of any terrorist incident such as suicide bombings, explosions or rocket attacks, which causes destruction of initial evidence for investigation. A spokeswoman for the US Embassy said she was not able to comment on the specific decrees, but that the United States always stands behind freedom of the Press. Meanwhile, sitting Afghan President Karzai is the urbane favourite to win a second term this week after a seven-year rule marred by war, corruption and cooling ties with the West. Deal-making and shrewd manoeuvring which began long before Thursdays (tomorrow) election appear to have secured Karzai the backing of influential strongmen and groups that could see him trump his few real contenders in a field of 41. Although it is difficult to gauge the level of support, one recent survey suggested 44pc of Afghans would vote for the incumbent - a strong lead but far behind the 50pc needed to avoid a run-off. Karzais backroom tactics and reluctance to hit the public campaign trail as hard as his rivals have led to controversy, with voters disillusioned by his failure to rein in corruption and a Taliban insurgency now at its deadliest. His choice for vice-president of Mohammad Qasim Fahim, a former warlord accused of war crimes, dismayed the international community although it may win the Pashtun leader some votes from the influential Tajik minority. Leaders of the Uzbek and Hazara minorities have also backed the incumbent, while opponents have struggled to put together a coalition strong enough to dislodge him.