Sunday, March 21, 2004

That other June deadline may not be made, either

From the Toronto Globe & Mail for March 17.
Afghanistan's landmark national elections could be delayed until August, even if a UN plan to register millions of voters in troubled provinces succeeds, President Hamid Karzai said Wednesday.

Security and logistical problems mean only 1.4 million Afghans out of a total of 10.5 million eligible have registered for the elections, slated for June. ...

Still, Mr. Karzai said it had yet to be determined if presidential and parliamentary elections would be held together or "with some difference in time."

Holding both elections at the same time would be much more difficult, given uncertainty over district boundaries, the need to register hundreds of extra candidates and tougher security requirements.
The UN agreed to undertake an effort at accelerated voter registration but only after receiving security guarantees from Karzai's government and the US.
The world body is also pressing for a new push to disarm the warlords and factional militias who still control much of the country in order to reduce the risk of intimidation of voters.
Peace, freedom, and security, brought to you by the United States.

"I know, you'd be happier if the Taliban was still in power."

"Uh, are you seriously telling me that, on the ground, not on paper, the current conditions are an improvement?"

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