Afghanistan parliament elections pushed back to October

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - APRIL 25: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani gives speech during a meeting of the Afghan Parliament in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 25, 2016. (Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Vastavam web: Afghanistan’s long-delayed parliamentary and local council elections scheduled for July this year may have to be pushed back for another three months, an election commissioner said on Sunday citing organisational challenges.“We are ready to hold the elections with two or three months’ delay, but the security agencies must tell us whether they are ready,” Wasima Badghisi, deputy head of operations at the Independent Election Commission told Reuters.

The problems in organising the parliamentary vote underline the fragility of the political institutions created in Afghanistan since a U.S.-led campaign brought down the Taliban in 2001.Referring to organisational problems, Badghisi said the appointment of a new member of the election commission had taken a lot of time, she also cited budget problems and insecurity.Afghanistan has held two parliamentary elections since the end of Taliban rule, the first in 2005 and the second in 2010.

The five-year term of the parliament elected in 2010 was meant to expire in June 2015, but elections were postponed because of security fears and disagreements on how to ensure a fair vote after the bitterly disputed presidential election in 2014.District council elections have never been held, despite being mandated in the 2004 constitution.Late last year, officials from international partners including the United Nations told the government that even under the most favourable conditions, the earliest date on which an election could feasibly be held was October 2018.