Afghan Elections Pushed Back

In light of the controversy surrounding last year’s fraud-plagued presidential elections, authorities in Afghanistan have agreed to postpone May’s planned parliamentary election until September. The announcement comes in the lead-up to a London conference to develop a plan for troop withdrawal. The looming election has caused tension between President Hamid Karzai and many Western supporters who suffer politically by committing troops to a nation that is viewed as politically unstable. As pressure mounts on Karzai to replace election-commission members accused of enabling fraud, an anonymous diplomat involved in the process called the delay “a pragmatic and sensible decision which will allow time for reform of the key electoral institutions to enable cleaner parliamentary elections.”