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Afghan Parliament vote could be delayed: McCain

Last Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 14:17

Kabul: Visiting US Republican senator John McCain said on Thursday that a Parliamentary Election in Afghanistan due in May could be delayed by up to three months.
Afghanistan`s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has said the poll will go ahead on May 22, in accordance with the Constitution, despite concerns it will be plagued by corruption and logistical problems.

But Western diplomats in Kabul have said they doubt Afghan authorities will be able to eradicate the problems that turned last August`s Presidential Election into a ballot-stuffing farce.

Nor are they likely to have the necessary funds to hold a nationwide ballot.

The United Nations, which has not yet received a request for funding, has said it would need to see evidence of significant reform before agreeing to release money to stage the election.

The last Parliamentary Election was in September 2005 and the IEC has said the next poll must be held a maximum 30 days before the end of the legislative cycle which ends on June 22.

McCain, speaking to reporters at the end of a brief visit to Afghanistan, said the authorities are considering a delay.

"I know there are discussions, part of it is perhaps a two or three months delay in order to get the mechanisms in place," said McCain, who met with President Hamid Karzai during his visit


First Published: Thursday, January 7, 2010 - 14:17

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