Afghanistan: voting in Kandahar, a week after the rest of the country

Hugh Fox
October 29, 2018

The suicide bomber was shot by the security forces but that could not prevent him from detonating, said Mujahid.

People attend a burial ceremony of General Abdul Razeq, the Kandahar police commander, who was killed in yesterday's attack, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan October 19, 2018.

The attack came as officials at the IEC have begun counting votes after much-delayed parliamentary polls in 33 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces were completed last week.

Voters in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province went to the polls Saturday in legislative elections postponed for a week after an attack killed the province's police chief.

IEC figures show roughly 4.2 million out of the almost nine million people registered to vote actually cast a ballot.

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

The unprecedented delays forced voting to be extended a second day last weekend to give people in more than 400 polling centers an opportunity to cast their ballots.

Similar issues were evident in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban and a province notorious for ballot stuffing, with many polling sites in the city opening more than an hour late - despite assurances from IEC deputy spokeswoman Kobra Rezaei on Friday that "we are absolutely ready".

The incident happened at about 8:15am local time in PD9 in Kabul city, a spokesman for Kabul police chief confirmed.

According to the IEC, 111 candidates from Kandahar were competing for 11 seats, including three for women, at the Lower House of the Afghan Parliament.

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This year's elections have become the first parliamentary election in Afghanistan since 2010.

The IEC is scheduled to release preliminary results on November 10.

The taliban and the group islamic State had long promised attacks on the day of the vote.

Voting in the 32 provinces also saw a high turnout but problems with new biometric verification devices, missing or incomplete voter rolls and absent election workers following Taliban threats meant many voters waited for hours.

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