Afghanistan's election commission chief is ruling out the possibility of a presidential vote in April, contradicting a recent announcement made by the country's incumbent chief executive, Hamid Karzai.
Afghanistan is confronting a constitutional crisis. Karzai's five-year term expires on May 21, and the Afghan Constitution stipulates that an election must be held 30 to 60 days before that date. In late February, Karzai sought to solve the problem by announcing his intention to hold the presidential election in April, as opposed to August. The president's proposal did nothing but generate controversy, however. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive].
On March 4, Independent Election Commission chief, Ludin Azizullah weighed in on the matter, contending that logistical hurdles were too high to permit the country to hold a presidential election next month. "We fully respect President Karzai's decree but we will not be able to hold elections before August," Azizullah said in comments broadcast on the Ariana television channel. In particular, election officials need more time to work out problems related to incomplete voter registration and security concerns, Azizullah said.