Afghan government says it's ready for April vote

July 29, 2013
A portrait of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is seen behind a display of weapons and ammunition seized by the Afghan National Army and put on display at a national military base in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 24, 2013. The Afghan National Army put on show a collection of weapons and ammunition it said it had seized during various operations in Kabul and Logar Provinces against Taliban fighters. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says the country's security forces are prepared for the presidential election next April, though five districts remain gripped by insurgency.

The vote will be a key test of Afghanistan's ability to smoothly transition power ahead of the pullout of foreign forces at the end of 2014.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqi told reporters on Monday that plans have been prepared to secure 6,845 polling centers in all 34 provinces.

He says a plan is also in place to secure more than 400 voter registration centers. Four million new voters are expected to be added to 16 million previously registered voters. Afghanistan has a population of about 30 million.

But Sediqi says authorities still don't have full control of five districts around the country because of the insurgency.