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Hamid Karzai is threatening to call a snap election as early as April 21 in a high-stakes gamble that some say the Afghan president hopes will disadvantage political opponents, according to a Wednesday report in London’s Financial Times.

Such a move by Karzai would require a national election to be run in nearly impossible conditions and would defy the U.S.-backed decision of the Independent Election Commission to postpone the elections until Aug. 20, the Times wrote.

Senior western ambassadors were called in for an unusual meeting at the presidential palace on Monday and sounded out about holding an early election. Cabinet loyalists have also been briefed about the plan, a western official told the Times.

The election commission said in late January that poor security conditions in large parts of the south and the snow-choked roads of the north would make it impossible to hold a credible election on April 21, according to the report.

A leading political figure in Kabul agreed it would be an "impossible task" to hold the elections on time but "given [Karzai’s] state of mind, anything is possible," the Times reported.

In spite of the difficulties, the Times continued, it would be very hard for the international community to stop Karzai taking such a drastic course of action.

A NATO official told the paper that the alliance, which has 56,420 troops in the country supporting the Afghan government, would be reluctant to be seen "telling a sovereign government what to do."


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