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UN Says Afghanistan Lacks Funds To Hold Elections

1 July 2004 -- The United Nations expressed concern today that Afghanistan does not have enough money to hold elections planned for September.

Manoel de Almeida e Silva, a UN spokesman in Kabul, said there is a $60-million shortfall in immediate costs for what would be Afghanistan's first democratic parliamentary and presidential elections.

He said the money is arriving from donors, but not fast enough. He also praised an effort to enlist voters, which so far has registered 5.5 million Afghans for the election.

Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai has insisted that elections will go ahead in September, despite a wave of violence by militants seemingly determined to sabotage them.