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Afghan Election Officials Schedule Parliamentary Ballot For October 15

Afghanistan's top election official says the country's long-delayed parliamentary elections have been scheduled for October 15.

Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani, the head of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission, told journalists in Kabul on January 18 that the ballot would only be held on time if the government provided the necessary budget, security for candidates, electoral workers, and ballot boxes.

The Afghan legislature's five-year term expired in June but elections were postponed because of security fears and disagreements on how to ensure a fair vote after a bitterly disputed 2014 presidential election.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in 2015 issued a decree extending parliament's mandate until an election can be held.

Critics of that decree have questioned whether the extension was legal.

If the elections go ahead as planned, they are likely to be held against a backdrop of sharply worsening security.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP