Afghanistan postpones presidential election to September

Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah (L) and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai shake hands after signing a power-sharing agreement at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on September 21, 2014. Afghanistan's two rival presidential candidates signed a power-sharing deal on September 21, ending a prolonged stand-off over disputed election results at a pivotal moment in the war-weary nation's history. AFP PHOTO/Wakil Kohsar

Afghanistan’s presidential election has been postponed to Sept. 28, a spokesman for the country’s Independent Election Commission said on Wednesday.

The delay follows Afghanistan’s parliamentary election in October, which took place after months of wrangling and delay.

It was marred by accusations of widespread fraud, including ballot-stuffing, technical problems with biometric registration equipment and attacks by Taliban insurgents.

President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and former National Security Adviser, Mohammad Atmar are among the declared candidates for the election.

The incumbent president Ghani is expected to seek re-election, which had originally been scheduled for April 20 before being shifted to July 20, with the election commission blaming security concerns and lack of time for preparation.

The Presidential election has been postponed for the second time.

Alongside the presidential election, polls will also take place in September for provincial councillors and parliamentary seats in the province of Ghazni.

It is unclear how recurring peace talks between U.S. officials and the Taliban may affect the election.

The Taliban has so far refused to talk with the Ghani government, which it considers illegitimate. (Reuters/NAN)