It is being reported that Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai will, on Friday, declare a snap election for April 21. The move is coming amid pressure from the opposition regarding the constitutionality of delays to the election.
The Afghan Election Commission had previously announced a delay which would put the election back to at least August 20. President Karzai would have remained in power until the election was held, even though his term ends on May 22.
Officials say that Karzai’s incumbent status would be an enormous advantage in the “patronage-based” political system of Afghanistan, and ensuring that the elections take place in a timely fashion would avoid him being seen as an illegitimate ruler. Polls have shown the population of Afghanistan increasingly losing faith in its government and the occupation forces, but whether anyone else can muster a successful opposition campaign in the war-torn nation remains to be seen.
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