Afghan president promises to hold elections next year

Afghan president promises to hold postponed presidential and district council elections next year as Taliban attacks rise across country amid political instability

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Updated Dec 30, 2015

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani has promised on Tuesday to hold planned parliamentary and district council elections next year, as he seeks to calm the ongoing political crisis that has already prevented the Afghan government on fighting against Taliban militant group.

The elections were set up on June 22 this year, but it was postponed due to security concerns and political division over securing fair elections after the disputed presidential vote held last year.

"Parliamentary and district council elections will be held between summer and autumn of the next year," said Ghani in a statement, adding that the exact dates would be announced by the Independent Elections Commission.

Both Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory after last year's presidential vote was declared invalid by fraud accusations. However, political uncertainty has been solved by an agreement that formed a unity government under Ghani.

Ghani declared in June of this year that the extension of parliament’s mandate until a fair election could be held safely. The declaration faced with harsh criticism as the extension was legal from many Afghans.

Although Ghani and his rival Abdullah agreed on an electoral reform over the future election, progress had not been made since the opposition in the unity government could not agree on who should lead the reform commission.

The government has been under pressure for holding the elections with a new opposition council that was set up this month as well as a ‘’Loya Jirga” council meeting of representatives from across the country.

Violence has been rising across Afghanistan as well as the death toll since the Taliban has sped up its attacks against government forces over the departure of foreign troops last year.

TRTWorld and agencies