President Hamid Karzai says he is considering calling presidential elections a year early to lessen the strain on Afghanistan that could be caused by the departure of foreign combat troops at the same time as a national ballot.

President Hamid Karzai says he is considering calling presidential elections a year early to lessen the strain on Afghanistan that could be caused by the departure of foreign combat troops at the same time as a national ballot.

The next presidential elections are scheduled for 2014 and the majority of NATO combat forces will leave Afghanistan by the end of that year.

At that time, Karzai will be at the end of his second five-year term in office. The constitution bars him from running again for a third term.

Karzai said on Thursday that he has raised the idea with his inner circle about the possibility of moving the election forward to 2013. He says no final decision has been made and that a long time will be needed to make one.