Kabul, December 31: Afghanistan's presidential election will be delayed until July 20 next year, three months later than the ballot had been scheduled to be held. The announcement by the Independent Election Commission comes after weeks of speculation that the vote would be postponed to create space for US-led efforts to end the 17-year war with the Taliban.
The election commission chief said, provincial and district council elections, as well as a previously postponed parliamentary vote in Ghazni province, will be held on the same day. The presidential ballot was originally scheduled for April 20.
“April will be very difficult because of the harsh winter, transporting election materials, security, and budget issues,” the chairman of the Independent Election Commission, Jan Abdul Bade Sayad, said during a news conference. “To better prepare for the vote, we have decided to hold the election in July.”
But the reasons for the postponement went far beyond the technical glitches and insurgent attacks that marred the parliamentary poll, forcing a one-week voting delay in Kandahar province and an indefinite postponement in Ghazni province after violent attacks in both areas.