Afghans vote in south Kandahar's delayed elections

Arturo Kim
October 31, 2018

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.

The Kandahar governor's spokesman says major roads throughout the province were closed Friday to all vehicles, except those with prior security clearance.

Voting started at 7.00 a.m. local time [0230 GMT] and is due to end at 4.00 p.m. local time [1230GMT], according to Nematullah Wardak, head of the country's Independent Election Commission (IEC). The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest surrounding Afghanistan's embattled parliamentary election process. The U.S. -backed government is rife with corruption and many Afghans have said they do not expect the elections to be fair.

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Voters cast their ballots at 172 polling stations, one fewer than expected, Sadat said.

A suicide bombing targeting the Afghan election commission's office in Kabul on Monday killed a police officer and wounded five people, the police said.

The IEC is scheduled to release preliminary results on 10 November. Another eight people were wounded, he said, although the casualty numbers could rise.

An independent monitoring group said voting was also marred by ballot stuffing and intimidation by armed men affiliated with candidates in 19 of the country's 32 provinces that were voting last weekend.

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