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Opposition lashes out at govt over election delay

KABUL: A major government’s opposition political party says it would oppose any postponement in the next year’s presidential poll, a comment after media reported of a three-month postponement in the election, earlier slated for April 20th.

Fazl Ghani Haqmal, a spokesman for the Hezb-e-Islami (Islamic Party) led by jihadi leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, claimed Friday that the government was trying to architect the polls.

“Hezb-e-Islami is against postponement in the date of presidential election. We’ve said several times that the election should be held on its time on April 20th and there is no reason to postpone it,” Haqmal said, alleging that the postponement was a pretext to pave the ground for fraud.

After the Independent Election Commission announced postponement in the poll, former national security adviser and one of possible election runners Haneef Atmar, claimed in a statement that the commission did it under pressures from government. Atmar has accused the government of intervention in the commission job and taking advantage from the process.

The election commission, however, says the precise date of the election was yet to be finalized, with Zabi Sadat a spokesman of the commission saying that the exact date of the polls would be announced in the coming days.

“It will be clear within two or three days that the when the election is held. The delay will be in the benefit of all, because we are making effort to hold an election acceptable for all the political parties, people and the international community,” said Sadat.

He dismissed the allegation that the postponement was under government pressures.

But the Free and Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA), an electoral watchdog blames the election commission for incompetence and political parties for carelessness for the election delay.

“Now that we see reforms are impossible and the commission is facing with an orthogenesis, the parties have woken. This indicates inefficiency of the politicians and the commission. They are challenging the elections and are trampling the law,” said Yousuf Rashid, head of FEFA.

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