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Afghanistan postpones presidential election for 2nd time - Xi

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KABUL, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The Afghan Independent Election Commission (IEC) has set Sept. 28 this year as a new date for the country's fourth presidential election, an IEC official said on Wednesday.

"The new commissioners of IEC have decided to hold the upcoming presidential election on Sept. 28," newly elected IEC Chief Hawa Alam Nuristani told reporters.

The presidential election was initially set for April 20 by former IEC officials and later they delayed it until July 20.

She noted that the new date would give the IEC more time to hold a credible election and solve irregularities that occurred during the Oct. 20 parliamentary election.

"The Afghan IEC will share a new election timetable with the media soon," the IEC chief said, adding the district council elections and parliamentary polls in Ghazni constituency will also be held on the same day on Sept. 20 this year.

To ensure transparency in the coming election, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani approved in February an amendment to the electoral law aimed at bringing fundamental change to the electoral bodies that resulted in the immediate dismissal of the former Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC)'s members.

Earlier this month, Ghani appointed new members for the two agencies while a top UN envoy for Afghanistan warned against the challenges to this year's election, saying holding the presidential election on schedule will be very challenging.

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