Afghanistan government ready for timely presidential elections

Afghanistan government is committed to holding timely presidential elections. Officials for Independent Election Commission (IEC) have rejected reports regarding postponement of presidential elections by three months.
According to deputy spokesperson to IEC Shaima Alam Serosh, no decision has been made by IEC in connection with postponement of the upcoming presidential elections. Shaima added that leady body of the commission was working whether they could hold the elections on its date slated for April 20 next year or not.
“Discussions and debates are ongoing within the independent election commission. One of the possible plans which was leaked to the media was about holding four simultaneous elections and to delay these elections for some months; but currently it is only an idea and this plan has not been finalized. But discussions are continuing; the leadership of the Independent Election Commission is committed to coordinate and share the plan for the presidential elections and the rest of the elections with our electoral partners such as the electoral complaints commission, political parties and political movements, observers, civil society and media,” said The IEC deputy spokesperson.  
Presidential, provincial council and district council elections are scheduled to take place across the country in 2019.
A parliamentary ballot, which was held in 33 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces last month, also needs to be carried out in Ghazni where voting was delayed following protests.
The Afghan constitution requires the presidential election take place no later than April 22.But IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad told reporters that a “practical timeline” was needed.
“The economic, security and weather situations are forcing us to make some changes to the timeline of elections,” Sayyad explained.
Last month’s parliamentary election, which was more than three years late, was held despite of deadly violence in the country.
Voting was extended over three days instead of one due to many polling stations failing to open on time, problems with untested biometric verification machines, and incomplete or missing voter rolls.
Preliminary results for 10 provinces have been released. Recounting is underway in Kabul, the most populated province in the country.
Meanwhile, President Spokesperson Haroon Chakhansuri in a video message sent to media has said that National Unity Government respects the independence of IEC, and has full preparations for and is committed to staging presidential elections on the date set by IEC April 20, 2019. The government expects to conduct the vote on the date previously set by IEC, he added.
Lailuma Noori

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