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Afghan Politicians Voice Support For August Election

Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani
Former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani
KABUL -- The opposition National Front and some potential candidates in Afghanistan's next presidential election say they support the Independent Election Commission's announcement to hold the election on August 20, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reports.

Previously, President Hamid Karzai had issued a decree saying that the election should be held in April, the same month that his term is set to end.

The head of the opposition party, former President Burhanuddin Rabbani, former Finance Ministers Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi and Ashraf Ghani, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, and some parliamentarians held a press conference on March 4 in Kabul and gave their support for the August election date.

Abdullah called on Karzai to step down during the interim period between the end of his term and the election.

Presidential palace spokesman Humayun Hamidzada told RFE/RL that Karzai supports the commission's decision on the date of the election but notes there is no mention in the Afghan Constitution of a transitional or caretaker government before such a vote.