– KARZAI CONFRONTS US OVER ELECTION DATE
Hamid Karzai term in office as Afghanistan’s president supposes to expire, legally, on 05/21/2009. According to Article 61 of Afghanistan’s constitution, elections should be held 30 to 60 days before 22 May, the end of Mr Karzai’s five-year term.
The Afghan Independent Elections Commission says elections should be held by 20 August. He is strongly backed by USA and NATO-ISAF that are seeking for more time to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan despite the possible constitutional crisis if polls are held later then the end of April 2009. The US state department said elections in August would best ensure a free vote in a secure environment. International monitors have said it would be difficult to hold a fair election by April because of security concerns, bad weather and the logistical challenges of getting ballots.
On Sunday 03/01/2009, Hamid Karzai called for polls on 21 April, in accordance to the Afghan constitution and against the will of his allies, although the president has no power to, unilaterally, choose election dates. Mr Karzai has been under considerable pressure over the delay and has been accused of using it to illegally extend his rule in breach of the constitution.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) in Afghanistan says there is a contradiction between the constitution and electoral law which meant the president could stay in power until October – five years after he won the last election – or December, five years after he took his oath of office, Reuters news agency reported.
Read more ;