By Shadi Khan Saif
Afghanistan’s presidential election will take place next April 20, with results due by June, the electoral authority in the conflict-ridden country announced on Monday.
The 12-day registration of presidential hopefuls will start next week, Gulajan Abdulbadi Sayad, head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), told a news conference in the capital Kabul.
“All necessary preparations and an action plan are in place, soon the recruitment of staff for the presidential polls will also begin,” he said.
He pledged the results of the April 20 presidential polls would be out by June.
Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential elections were marred by widespread claims of irregularities, threatening another civil war, before then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, intervened and convinced the two main rivals, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani (current president) and Abdullah Abdullah (power-sharing CEO), to form a national unity government.
Ghani’s office says he will seek another term. Other announced hopefuls include Mohammad Haneef Atmar, a former longstanding national security adviser who parted ways with Ghani this August, citing “serious differences.”