Afghanistan elections: Violence, technical glitches plague vote


Meantime, balloting hours had been prolonged — some into Sunday — at many polling stations throughout the nation after technical glitches and lack of workers delayed operations, resulting in lengthy strains, the nation’s Impartial Electoral Fee, or IEC, stated.

The elections already had been delayed for 3 years due to safety issues, and the assassination Thursday by the Taliban of an important provincial police chief solely added to many Afghans’ sense of unease as they turned out to forged their ballots.
An explosion in Kabul killed a baby as voting was underway, stated Italian-run non-governmental group EMERGENCY, including that its workers had acquired 36 sufferers needing treatment.

The deaths and accidents throughout the capital metropolis had been confirmed by Ministry of Public Well being official Muhibullah Zaheer. The variety of incidents and particulars of what occurred weren’t instantly accessible.

A lot rests on the vote: Hundreds of women and young people are amongst candidates standing for election, driving a wave of hope that the notoriously corrupt and inefficient political system in Afghanistan will be overhauled.

After casting his poll Saturday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked legislation enforcement, election officers and residents who made the election doable, “regardless of the dangers concerned.”

“As we speak we proved collectively that we uphold democracy. With casting our ballots with out concern we honor the sacrifices of the fallen,” he tweeted.

The Taliban had warned Afghans forward of the vote to not take part in what they referred to as “an American undertaking from begin to end.”

It isn’t but clear how logistical issues at many polling stations will have an effect on turnout figures.

Voter enthusiasm could have already got been chilled by the killing of Gen. Abdul Raziq Achakzai, Kandahar’s police chief, the most recent in an extended line of violent assaults within the nation. Two Individuals additionally had been wounded within the capturing assault.

Voting in Kandahar was delayed for per week following Raziq’s demise.

A woman casts her vote at a polling station in Jalalabad, the capital of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province.

‘This can be a failed course of’

Efforts had been being made to resolve delays within the opening of among the voting websites and facilities attributable to technical points, Shaima Alam Soroush, a deputy spokeswoman for the IEC, informed reporters in Kabul.

A marketing campaign supervisor, Israr Karimzai, informed CNN that he had “20 studies of various facilities throughout the nation the place persons are being denied their proper to vote” as a result of “no poll papers or no biometric units or IEC workers have proven up” on the polling stations.

A candidate in Kabul informed CNN she had been ready for greater than an hour to vote.

“This can be a failed course of,” Mariam Solaimankhil stated.

Idrees Stanikzai, additionally in Kabul, informed CNN that voters had been complaining about nonetheless ready for his or her polling station to open greater than two hours after their arrival.

Afghan women wait in line to vote Saturday at a polling center in Herat province.

The pinnacle of the provincial council in Maidan Wardak province, Sharifullah Hotak, informed native Afghan TV station Shamshad that the biometric system in voting facilities was not working in the entire of the province.

And in Herat, a whole bunch of individuals had been standing in line as polling stations there additionally skilled technical points.

Greater than 20,000 polling stations had been open throughout the nation, aside from Kandahar and Ghazni provinces, the place voting will happen at a later date, Afghan Inside Ministry spokesman Najib Danesh stated earlier.

Some 70,000 members of the Afghan forces have been deployed to make sure the safety of the elections, he stated.

Ladies and younger folks stand for election

The dangers haven’t deterred greater than 2,500 candidates nationwide, together with greater than 400 ladies, to run for 250 seats within the Wolesi Jirga, the decrease home of the Afghan parliament.

The 28-year-old woman reshaping Afghanistan's politics

Maryam Samaa, a 26-year-old former journalist and information presenter on the nation’s largest personal broadcaster, TOLO TV, felt an obligation to face, she informed CNN. She is operating for one among Kabul’s 33 parliamentary seats.

“It is a duty each human being should tackle,” she stated. “Everybody has to query the society round them: Why is there a lot inequity, and what’s my position in reforming that society?”

Like many different younger candidates, Samaa stated she determined to run as a result of there are few “precise representatives of the folks” within the present parliament. Slightly than the home of the folks, Samaa stated, the parliament has grow to be a house for competing “mafia networks.”

Solely 9.6% of respondents had been happy with the work of the present parliament, a survey performed this 12 months by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Research, an impartial analysis institute primarily based in Kabul, discovered.

CNN’s Ehsan Popalzai and journalist Ali M. Latifi reported from Kabul, and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London.

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