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Afghanistan Postpones Next Year’s Presidential Election for Several Months

KABUL: Afghanistan postponed the next year’s presidential elections for several months to fix technical problems.

The Afghan election commission said that the election was delayed to fix technical problems that surfaced during October’s parliamentary elections.

Afghanistan’s election commission says the presidential vote scheduled for April will be postponed for several months to allow time to fix technical problems that surfaced during October’s parliamentary elections.

Deputy spokesman for the Independent Election Commission Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi said that more time was needed to train staff on a biometric identification system designed to reduce fraud.

He says additional verification of voter lists also requires more time.

Parliamentary elections were fraught with delays after the few staff trained on the biometric system did not show up at the polling booths and countless registered voters could not find their names on voter lists.

Polling had to continue for a second day after hundreds of polling stations opened several hours late. Several legal complaints have been filed to challenge the results.

No new date for the presidential election has yet been set.

The last presidential election, held in 2014, was mired in controversy and widespread allegations of fraud.

The two leading candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, fought a tight race that went to a second vote.

But before the results of the runoff could be announced, Abdullah alleged massive vote fraud and warned of widespread protests.

John Kerry, the then US secretary of state, interceded and helped cobble together a unity government and convinced the election commission to hold off on announcing the results of the runoff, which Ghani seemed poised to win.