Presidential Elections Announcement Delayed Once Again

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) was expected to announce the timeline for next year’s presidential elections on Saturday but the head of the institution, Abdulbadi Sayyad, told a press conference that based on the law they have enough time to make the announcement.

Sayyad said the timeline will be announced within the next two days, adding that his team is busy with parliamentary election affairs.

According to him, the law allows them to announce the timeline 120 days ahead of elections.

“As you know, the main problem is that technical and non-technical employees of the election commission are all busy,” Sayyad said.

“About the presidential elections, the previous announcement, April 20, is firm and there is no discussion on it,” said Abdul Qadir Quraishi, an election commissioner.

Sayyad meanwhile shed light on issues related to provincial and district council elections as well as parliamentary elections in Ghazni province and said problems have not been solved regarding security threats in Ghazni province.

“The Ghazni elections will be held on condition that problems in the way of elections are solved – either it is the constituency problem or others,” Sayyad said.

Sayyad said that the votes cast in parliamentary elections in Kabul will be recounted and assessed by a new team assigned by him.

“The commission has decided to reassess and recount Kabul votes,” Sayyad added.

An electoral watchdog organization said it will be difficult for the commission to hold the upcoming elections.

“Our concern is about the delay of the provincial council elections which will be held possibly next year because if the presidential election goes to a second round, the commission will not be able to hold the provincial council polls,” said Yusuf Rasheed, CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan.

This comes amid ongoing discussions by the IEC members and political parties on holding presidential elections, provincial and district council elections as well as the parliamentary elections in Ghazni. The commission last week suggested that the presidential elections should be held on its own as it would be easier to organize.

The presidential elections are scheduled to be held on April 20 – however the exact timeline for the elections will be announced this week, as the IEC said.

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