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Afghan Parliament Vote Set for September 18

Election officials in Afghanistan say the country's long-delayed parliamentary elections will take place in about six months.

The chairman of the national election commission, Bismillah Bismil, announced the September 18 date to reporters in Kabul Sunday.

Voters will choose members of provincial councils and the lower house of Parliament, but the commission says "technical obstacles" - unresolved disputes over district boundaries and population figures - are still making it impossible to set a voting date for the upper house of Parliament.

Legislative elections are the final step in a political process intended to restore democracy to Afghanistan following a quarter-century of war. The process was set in motion at an international meeting in Bonn, Germany after a U.S.-led military coalition drove members of the Taleban and the al-Qaida terror network out of Afghanistan in late 2001.

A new Afghan constitution was drawn up more than a year ago, and a successful presidential election was held last October.

Despite recurring incidents of violence such as a deadly bombing last week in Kandahar province, President Hamid Karzai says the country's overall security situation has improved greatly in the past year.