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IEC schedules presidential election in April 2019

By Farhad Naibkhel-Kabul: The Independent Election Commission on Tuesday set the date of presidential election on 20th April 2019, in presence and with unanimous consent ofpolitical parties and civil society activists, in a move that could manage away election-induced uncertainty.

In a consultative session with representatives of the Independent Electoral Complaint Commission (IECC), political parties, civil activists and international organizations, IEC garnered unanimity to set April 20th next year as the official date of the presidential election, the election commission spokesperson Mujeeburrahman Shirzad told Afghanistan Times on Tuesday, and is to be formally announced on Wednesday.

According to the Constitution, tenure of President Ashraf Ghani will end in May 2019.

An IEC statement said the date for the vote was set after consultations with all representatives of the IECC, political parties and civil activist and international organizations in a meeting which was held in the IEC’s main compound. It mentioned political parties, civil societies and people had an overarching role to play in a free, fair and nationwide election.

“ProvincialCouncil elections will be held with presidential vote,” said IEC’s Deputy Spokesman Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi.

This comes as a number of political parties including the opposition had earlier accused the government of national unity of ‘killing time’ and ‘evading a timely presidential vote’. A voter registration discrepancy also surfaced after the election commission earlier declared nine million had registered to vote, a figure some parliamentarians and politicos dismissed as ‘exaggerated’.

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