Afghan official: New date for presidential polls is July 20

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An Afghan official says presidential polls, which were originally scheduled for April, will be held on July 20.

The elections were postponed 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 Sunday.


More time is needed to verify voter lists and to train elections workers on a biometric identification system, aimed at reducing fraud.

Parliamentary elections were overwhelmed by delays with some polling booths opening up five hours late, forcing a second day of voting. Several legal complaints have been filed challenging the results, with many polling results still not announced.

The last presidential election, held in 2014, was mired in controversy and widespread allegations of fraud. Officials want to avoid a repeat in 2019.

Earlier on Sunday Taliban rejected Kabul’s offer of talks next month in Saudi Arabia where the militants, fighting to restore strict Islamic law in Afghanistan, will meet US officials to further peace efforts, a Taliban leader said on Sunday.

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