Ramazan Bashardost is a candidate in the 2009 Afghanistan presidential election, and a member of the Afghan parliament. He is of the Hazara people, but is campaigning as a representative of the entire Afghan people, arguing against warlord and ethnic politics. Originally thought to be a symbolic candidate, recent polls show him in 3rd place, ahead of Ashraf Ghani.  He earned three master’s degrees and a doctorate in political science at the University of Toulouse in 1995.
After the Taliban were overthrown, he took a diplomatic post at the Afghan Embassy in Paris, where he had been educated and in 2003 returned home to head the European Affairs Department at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. 
In 2004, he was planning minister in the government of Hamid Karzai. He was highly critical of non-governmental organizations, saying the "majority of them were a source of Afghanistan money drain. He particularly highlighted the hefty amounts paid to the NGO employees and ministers as compared to the average income of less than a dollar average national income." He resigned over this issue.
Presenting himself as a populist, he lives in a tent next to Parliament, and drives a rusting Suzuki "frequently compared to the Mini driven by Mr Bean, a character much loved in Afghanistan".  He did win election to Parliament by a large margin.
Some media have called him "Afghanistan's Gandhi", for "his personal integrity, his ascetic style, and inclusive message." He travels without bodyguards; speaking from Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan Province, an area considered dangerous, about which he said "When I travel to the provinces, I personally do not feel insecure. I haven't done anything wrong. I haven't spilled the blood of Afghan people and have neither taken their land by force."
- Jason Motlagh (16 August 2009), "The Don Quixote of Afghanistan: A Long Shot's Quest", Time (magazine)
- Adam B. Ellick (20 June 2009), "Corruption Crusader Aims for Afghan Presidency", New York Times
- Tom Coghlan (12 August 2009), "Anti-corruption ‘Mr Bean’ candidate Ramazan Bashardost eyes presidency", The Times (UK)
- Abubakar Siddique (14 August 2009), "Afghan 'Gandhi' Running a People-Centric Election Campaign", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty