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US still backs August date for Afghanistan election

The United States has said it supports the "underlying principles" in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's call for elections by April, but believes an August date would best ensure a safe and just poll.

world Updated: Mar 01, 2009 08:18 IST
AFP
Hindustantimes

The United States has said it supports the "underlying principles" in Afghan President Hamid Karzai's call for elections by April, but believes an August date would best ensure a safe and just poll.

"The United States has seen President Karzai's decree calling on the Independent Elections Commission to consider arrangements for elections that would be both consistent with all relevant articles of the Constitution," State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a statement, yesterday.

"The United States supports the underlying principles articulated by President Karzai and reiterates its view that elections in August, as proposed by the Independent Elections Commission, is the best means to assure every Afghan citizen would be able to express his or her political preference in a secure environment," he added.

Karzai's call for presidential elections before his term in office expires in May has raised eyebrows among Afghanistan's international backers, including the United States and Britain, who previously supported an election in August as a "pragmatic necessity.