Afghan’s Karzai says he may call early election

President Hamid Karzai

Afghan President Karzai said he may call an early presidential election to leave enough time for the new government to handle a planned security transition from US forces to Afghans.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Thursday he may call an early presidential election to leave enough time for the new government to handle a planned security transition from US forces to Afghans.Karzai, re-elected in a second post-Taleban poll in 2009 amid allegations of widespread voting irregularities, will complete his term in 2014, which coincides with the transfer of security responsibilities from a US-led NATO force to Afghan troops.

Karzai said he was considering bringing one of the two major events forward by a year.‘If we cannot have all of that accomplished in 2014, can we bring either the transition and the return of the international forces to 2013, so we can have the other agenda fulfilled in 2014, or should we allow the transition process to complete itself in 2014?’ he said at a news conference with visiting NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Kabul.

‘Bring the presidential elections one year earlier to 2013. This is something I have been thinking about.’Karzai said no final decision had been made but that there were ‘favourables’ for both options.At another point in the news conference, Karzai said Afghanistan and its Western partners were in agreement over the transition and a final withdrawal of foreign forces in 2014.

About 130,000 US-led troops are still in the country, fighting a Taleban-led insurgency across Afghanistan.Karzai’s opponents have raised concerns that the Western-backed leader might delay the vote, amending the constitution to allow himself to remain in power. He has dismissed the claims. – Kahleejnews