Afghanistan: Presidential election delayed by three months

Afghanistan: Presidential election delayed by three months

KABUL: Next year's presidential election in Afghanistan has been postponed by three months, election authority sources say.

It was initially due in April. A new date in mid-July or early August is to be announced on Thursday.

Many potential candidates had been unable to meet registration requirements and extreme weather meant their teams could not organise for a spring date, the sources told the BBC.

It comes days after reports that the US was to withdraw thousands of troops.

About 7,000 troops - roughly half the remaining US military presence in the country - could go home within months, the US media reports said.

On Monday 43 people died in a suicide and gun attack on the Afghan ministry of public works in Kabul, officials said.

Meanwhile Iran has held talks with the Afghan Taliban, a senior Iranian security official said.

The decision to postpone the presidential vote also comes after a series of problems affected parliamentary elections in October, which was disrupted by the Taliban and Islamic State group.

Violence affected campaigning and the polls themselves, with 10 candidates killed and deadly blasts at polling stations, nearly a third of which were closed because of security concerns.