Afghanistan will hold presidential elections on Aug. 20, the head of the election commission said on Thursday.
President Hamid Karzai has strongly hinted he will run for re-election.
The Independent Election Commission decided on the date, which comes just before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, after consulting with Afghan security forces and foreign powers that occupy the country, the commission head Azizullah Ludin told a news conference.
Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun from the south, has been in power in Afghanistan since U.S.-led forces toppled the Taliban, first as head of a US-West installed interim administration, then winning elections in 2004.
U.S. and NATO forces killed dozens of civilians in air strikes -- incidents that provoke extreme anger among Afghans.
According to the constitution, the elections should be held by May, but officials announced last year that would not be possible as holding polls in the spring would mean organising them during the harsh winter when large parts of the country are inaccessible.
Last Mod: 29 Ocak 2009, 12:06