India’s Election Commission said on Wednesday it would hold a vote next year, citing “critical” and “unresolved” concerns over the country’s “security and stability”.
“We will hold a national election in 2019 to choose the next Prime Minister and the next Government of India.
The Commission has expressed its concern about the security situation in India and its readiness to take measures to safeguard the country, including by holding elections to ensure the safety of our citizens,” the Election Commission (EC) said in a statement.
The EC said it would convene a “National Council of Experts” to review the countrys “security situation” and assess whether there were “critical and unresolved issues” that it could not resolve.
India’s Election Commissioner Shashi Tharoor also said he expected a vote to be held by next year.
“The Government of the country has not made any announcement on the date of the 2019 national election, but I expect it to happen,” he said.
The Election Commission’s decision comes after months of political uncertainty over India’s elections, which have been postponed twice due to protests and violent protests over the killing of a teenager by a mob in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in May.
The government said on Tuesday it would delay the next election until 2018.
On Wednesday, the EC’s chief election commissioner Shashi Kumar Singh said the Commission was in contact with “all political parties” to discuss “security concerns”.
“The Commission is currently in touch with all political parties and has spoken to them about security concerns,” he told reporters.
“It is in the process of finalising the process to hold a presidential election.
We will wait for the next results,” Singh said.
India has held four national elections in the last 25 years.
The opposition has repeatedly called for the elections to be postponed due to security concerns.