Voting underway for parliamentary elections in Kandahar province

Charlene Craig
October 29, 2018

Voters in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar are going to the polls in parliamentary elections on Saturday, one week later than the rest of the country, delayed due to a high-profile assassination.

One police officer was killed and six others, including election workers and policemen, were wounded in the blast.

"In some provinces, there were problems in voting on the elections day".

Millions of Afghans risked their lives to vote in the elections that were held over two weekends.

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More than 4 million people cast their ballots elsewhere last weekend despite violence and logistical issues, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said.

"I have defied all the threats of attacks and explosions to vote". It had also cautioned teachers not to use schools as voting booths.

Miller escaped unhurt, but US Brigadier General Jeffrey Smiley was among 13 people wounded in the shooting claimed by the Taliban.

An insurgent had detonated about 15 metres from the vehicle in which the poll body officials were travelling, Kabul police spokesperson Basir Mujahid was cited as saying by Efe news.

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

However earlier in the day as voters waited for centers to open one resident said: "We request that the process must start as soon as possible, the people have got work and some left their children at home to come and vote", Ahmad said.

Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections since 2010 were held against a backdrop of near-daily attacks by the Taliban, who have seized almost half the country and have repeatedly refused offers to negotiate with the Afghanistan government.

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

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Preliminary results of the elections held on October 20-21 are expected to be announced on November 10, while final results are due by December 20.

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