Afghan presidential polls to be delayed

November 26, 2018

TEHRAN _ In the wake of security concerns and disarray in counting votes from last month’s parliamentary elections, the presidential polls in Afghanistan slated for April next year might be delayed.

According to media reports, quoting election officials in Afghanistan, the election might be delayed by several months, which underlines the challenges facing the democratic institutions in the war-ravaged country.

After the four-year delay in holding parliamentary elections, now further delay will send a wrong signal to international donors, believe experts. And it will also make the re-election of Ashraf Ghani difficult.

In a report, New York Times quoted three officials at the Independent Elections Commission confirming on Sunday that “discussions were underway on a potential delay for the presidential vote, but they insisted no decision had been made”.

Quoting another ‘international official’, the report said the commission had already decided that the elections cannot be held on time, adding that several dates were being discussed for that election.

The commission had previously stated that presidential elections would be held on April 20, and President Ashraf Ghani was not in favor of further delay.

Meanwhile, the results of the parliamentary elections held last month are being announced after weeks of delay due to confusion in counting votes and fear of fraud.

The four elections initially scheduled for April 20 include the presidential vote, elections for provincial councils, and first-time elections for councils in the country’s 400 districts.

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