Afghanistan presidential election delayed to Sept. 28

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War-torn Afghanistan has delayed its presidential election until September 28, officials announced on Wednesday, the second time the ballot has been put back and five months later than it was originally scheduled to be held.

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said the vote had faced “numerous problems and challenges, and there needs to be reforms along with preparation for the future election, therefore holding the elections based on the timelines previously announced is not possible.”

It was originally scheduled for April but was delayed to July 20 due to concerns about winter conditions and security.

Afghanistan’s parliamentary election took place in autumn after months of wrangling and delay.

That vote 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 Haneef Atmar are among the declared candidates for the presidential election.

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

The Taliban has so far refused to talk with the Ghani government, which it considers illegitimate.

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