FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 file photo, a policeman casts his vote in Parliamentary elections in old city of Kabul, Afghanistan. An Afghan official said Sunday, Dec. 30 that presidential polls, which were originally scheduled for April, will be held on July 20. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

Afghan official: New date for presidential polls is July 20

December 30, 2018 - 12:05 pm

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says presidential polls, which were originally scheduled for April, will be held on July 20.

The elections were postponed to allow time to fix technical problems that surfaced during October's parliamentary elections, deputy spokesman for the Independent Election Commission Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi said Sunday.

More time is needed to verify voter lists and to train elections workers on a biometric identification system, aimed at reducing fraud.

Parliamentary elections were overwhelmed by delays with some polling booths opening up five hours late, forcing a second day of voting. Several legal complaints have been filed challenging the results, with many polling results still not announced.

The last presidential election, held in 2014, was mired in controversy and widespread allegations of fraud. Officials want to avoid a repeat in 2019.

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