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Afghan Elections Postponed

Feuding warlords, “Taliban attacks”:http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/archives/000439.html and political squabbling have affected Afghanistan elections. The elections that were to take place in September have now been postponed to mid-October.

bq. There is also intensive discussion in Kabul over whether to postpone parliamentary elections until next year as violence mounts, and the disarmament of militias and warlords has faltered. Youth and civil society groups have already called for elections to be postponed until next year to ensure greater stability and freedom for voters. Political parties which are only starting to form and register are largely in favor of a postponement too, officials said.

bq. United Nations officials and diplomats are concerned that without more disarmament of the warlords and their militias, there will be gross intimidation and interference in an early election, especially for parliamentary seats. The United Nations spokesman, Mr. Almeida e Silva, stressed that the organization was being guided by the time frame laid down in the Bonn agreements, which set elections for this year, but was also concerned to see commitments on disarmament and demobilization of militias, the surrender of heavy weapons and political freedoms met ahead of elections.

bq. Jean Arnault, the United Nation’s special representative in Afghanistan, told the Security Council in May that the Taliban and al Qaeda insurgency in southern Afghanistan was increasing, hindering voter registration and threatening the legitimacy of elections. Mr. Arnault said voter registration hasn’t been possible in three of the 34 provinces and has proven difficult in nine others.

If the elections do not happen in October, it may get postponed to next year as the mountain passes will get snow covered after October.

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