KABUL: Russian Foreign Ministry in reaction to the delay in Afghanistan’s 2019 presidential elections said the polls were postponed due to pressure from the United States.
“Everything seems to suggest that the decision to put off the election was made under the United States’ influence, which needs additional time to prepare for holding the upcoming voting in accordance with its patterns and building a peace process in Afghanistan according to its own scenario,” the ministry said.
Afghanistan presidential election was scheduled for 20 April 2019, but last month, the Independent Election Commission said the elections have been postponed to 20 July 2019 in order to bring more reforms at the commission.
“Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission could make a decision to postpone the presidential elections scheduled for April 20 until June 20 under pressure from the United States, which needs time to get ready for the voting in accordance with its scenario,” the statement said.
According to the statement, officially it has been said that Afghan elections postponed for technical reasons, but that is not the case.
The statement also highlights that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the election commission was calling that the elections should be held based on the schedule, but the decision was imposed on them.
“We note that this decision was made despite the repeated assurances by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Afghanistan’s Election Commission concerning the need to strictly adhere to the deadlines for the election announced earlier,” read the statement.
Russian Foreign Ministry also said the Afghan peace talks is another issue that has caused Afghan elections to be postponed.
Talking on the US possible troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, the statement said US is trying to create some Afghan anti-terror units which will operate for the interest of US.
“US media reports about Washington’s intention, in light of the planned reduction of the US military contingent in Afghanistan, to create some Afghan ‘counter-terrorist units,’ which will not be controlled by Kabul but will operate in the interests of the US special services, make one draw a similar conclusion,” the statement said.
Russian Foreign Ministry says that due to creation of such units, Kabul last November refused to send its representatives to Moscow format meeting in which they had the chance to have dialogue with members of Taliban movement.
In reaction to Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs remarks on Afghan elections, the US Embassy in Kabul says in a statement that the decision to delay presidential elections was made by the IEC in order to address administrative and technical deficiencies that were apparent in the parliamentary elections in the fall.
“We join with the many Afghans and others in the international community who believe that serious elections reform is necessary,” the US Embassy in Kabul says in a statement.
The US Embassy says it is up to Afghans to elect their leaders, and they deserve elections bodies that are capable and staffed with experts who can restore public trust in the process.