Afghanistan parliament elections likely delayed until October

KABUL - Afghanistan's long-delayed parliamentary and local council elections scheduled for July this year may have to be pushed back for another three months, an election commissioner said on Sunday citing organizational challenges.

The parliamentary polls, originally scheduled for July 2015, are seen as dry run for a presidential election in mid-2019 and a test of the progress made by Afghanistan's Western-backed government towards establishing durable democratic institutions.

"We are ready to hold the elections with two or three months' delay, but the security agencies must tell us whether they are ready," Wasima Badghisi, deputy head of operations at the Independent Election Commission told Reuters.

The problems in organizing the parliamentary vote underline the fragility of the political institutions created in Afghanistan since a US-led campaign brought down the Taliban in 2001.