January 24th, 2010
10:22 PM ET

Afghanistan postpones parliamentary election until fall

Afghanistan said Sunday it will postpone parliamentary elections from May until September. The election commission cited several reasons for its decision: security concerns, logistical challenges and a budget shortfall.

The election is now scheduled for September 18 instead of May 22.

"The purpose of the election is for the people to manifest their will through their votes. If they cannot do that due to issues of security, technical reasons or fraudulent practices, if the issues of fraud that marred the presidential election last year have not been removed - then it is better to postpone the elections until such a time as these issues have been resolved," said Dauod Sultanzoy, a member of parliament.

The move will likely please Western donors since the delay allows more time to put election reforms in place.

Western nations have asked for such reforms to prevent a repeat of the widespread fraud that marred last year's presidential elections.

The postponement gives the electoral institutions additional time to carry out the necessary preparations for the elections, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a statement.

This would have been extremely difficult to do by the original date. It also provides time to make improvements to the electoral process based on lessons learned during the presidential and provincial council elections in 2009.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul also released a statement saying it respects Sunday's decision.

Filed under: Afghanistan elections
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Alexandra

    A. Smith:
    This is not a black and white situation. Regardless of the problems at home, the United States cannot simply leave Afghanistan. Troops can't be pulled out and that be the end of it. I am definitely not one to be entirely supportive of US actions overseas nor do I think it the job of this country to fix the rest of the world, but I'm also not so naive to think that US presence in Afghanistan is as simple as troops being there or not. Also, I'd caution all readers against accepting comments as trustworthy if they have spelling errors, etc, for they make the knowledge of the commenter questionable. (I'm not saying you should expect perfection but honestly...)

    January 27, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. A. Smith, Oregon

    Yet another attempt to force President Obama to remain in Afghanistan indefinitely. America has severe domestic needs to rebuild and repair and they cannot be properly attended to when America is pouring a vast amount of American taxpayer dollars into foreign wars and military contractors. President Karzi appears to be corrupt and his government riddled with graft. It is no surprise for the CIA to chose and support such a individual, however it is a cold-war legacy for America to continue to support a corrupt leader on a country that does not democratically support him or her. Mission accomplished, time for America to pull out!

    January 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Murtaza

    It was a good decision. Western countries and united nation should assist more the independent election commision and there should be monitors from united nation to prevent fraud. The other problem is Seats of the parliament which divided very bad. there should be a statistic of the voters in evry province then they should divide the seats.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |