Afghanistan's Karzai says he could rule months beyond his term

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that he accepts the decision by Afghanistan's election commission to hold a presidential vote August 20 and suggested he should retain power during a three-month gap between his term's expiration and the late summer election. An opposition leader said parliament won't accept Karzai as president after May 21, and warned that an extension of Karzai's term could trigger nationwide demonstrations. But no political leaders have offered any generally accepted solution to the looming constitutional showdown, and Karzai on Saturday argued that his term should be extended because the election is being pushed back. According to the Afghan Constitution, Karzai's last day as president should be May 21 and a presidential election "shall be held within 30 to 60 days prior to the end of the presidential term." But the election commission has said the vote should be held in August because of security issues, spring snow cover, and a lack of money to distribute ballots.