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Afghan Parliament Speaker Rejects Election Delay

February 03, 2009

KABUL -- The speaker of Afghan's lower house of parliament, Yunos Qanuni, says the decision to postpone the country's presidential election is unconstitutional, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Qanuni has asked President Hamid Karzai to summon the commission for the interpretation and supervision of the constitution to discuss the issue.

Qanuni -- who finished second to Karzai in the 2004 presidential election -- said during a parliament session that the Afghan Election Commission has no right to delay the presidential election.

Qanuni said that if the current situation continues, he does not expect the election to be held on the newly announced date of August 20, which is three months later than the original date.

The Afghan Constitution provides for the poll to be held in May, but election officals have said that technical, logistical, and security issues mean the election must be held at a later date.


Copyright (c) 2009. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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