Friday, 16 November, 2018

Kandahar goes to the polls in Afghan parliamentary vote delayed by violence

Suicide bomber targets electoral officials in Kabul Afghans risk their lives to vote in delayed Kandahar poll
Glenn Montgomery | 29 October, 2018, 16:47

Two days before the elections last weekend, General Abdul Razeq was assassinated by one of the security guards of Kandahar Governor Zalmai Wesa.

The attack took place after a meeting with the top USA commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller.

"People are determined to take part in the election because they want to show the Taliban that terror can not stop the Afghans from deciding their future", Dawa Khan Menapal, an independent candidate, said before the voting in Kandahar.

Polls closed at 5 p.m. local time but election officials could not immediately determine the turnout from the 567,000 registered voters in Kandahar.

Hajji Hamdullah Gulalai, head of one of the largest tribes in south Kandahar, complained bitterly about the chaos at polling stations, where workers were late arriving and had difficulty finding the names of people waiting to cast their ballots.

So far, the electoral body has received thousands of complaints following the vote.

In the shooting, the police officer who shot the attacker was killed and two police officers with 4 polling staff were injured, he added.

The terrorist group has mostly been populating the eastern province of Nangarhar, from where it has carried out high-profile brutal attacks at major population centers across the country.

No group, including the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for the blast yet.

The ballot, which the Taliban had vowed to attack, was marred by lengthy delays at polling centres, allegations of fraud, and deadly violence, with hundreds killed or wounded in scores of attacks.

More than 2,500 candidates, including mullahs, journalists and sons of warlords, are competing for 249 seats in the lower house.

Voting in parliamentary elections has been completed in 33 of the country's 34 provinces.

On October 20, Afghanistan held its much-delayed parliamentary elections, the provisional results of which will be announced on November 10 and final ones on December 20.

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