News - Afghanistan
Afghanistan's National Coalition party wants the date of the 2014 presidential election, set for April 5, to be pushed back in order to avoid the risk that a long winter will make voting impossible for many residents in remote areas.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) revealed its decision last week for the presidential election to be held in spring, but it has already been met with critisicm from lawmakers and political leaders for having it too soon after winter.
In an exclusive interview with TOLOnews, National Coalition chief Abdullah Abdullah reiterated these concerns, stressing that the election campaign would be difficult during winter time and called for a revision of the IEC plan.
"In this case it is for the all sides including the IEC , the Law of Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, the government organs, political parties and coalitions to gather together and choose a proper date in which most of the people would be able to vote," Abdullah said, adding that conducting elections in the remote areas of Afghanistan in early spring will be almost impossible if election officials cannot travel there.
However, Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan executive director Jandad Spinghar disagreed.
Spinghar believes that there is enough time for the candidates to campaign and that with the air support of the foreign forces, all necessary supplies and documents will be provided to remote areas.
"There is enough time for the campaigns and the foreign forces can supply those areas by air. It is fair to have the elections according to date mentioned in the constitution," Spinghar said.
Lawmakers have criticised the IEC decision to have the poll early April for the same reasons put forward by Abdullah. They also claimed that the IEC decision to have the provincial council elections on the same day as the presidential election was against Afghanistan's constitution.