Voting begins in Kandahar elections

Hannah Rogers
October 29, 2018

Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Monday Basir Mojahed said the suicide bomber who wanted to attack a polling staff was targeted by police.

An Afghan voter casts his ballot at a polling station during parliamentary elections in Kandahar city, capital of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on October 27, 2018.

The suicide comes as legislative election ballot boxes from around the country are reportedly delivered to the election commission's heavily fortified compound in the Afghan capital.

But long queues of voters had formed as early as 07: 00 local time (02h30 GMT), the polls opened two hours late.

With voting in parliamentary elections largely complete following yesterday's delayed vote in Kandahar, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) urges the country's electoral authorities to safeguard the integrity and transparency of the electoral process, especially concerning vote counting, as well as the tabulation and announcement of results.

On election day, the Taliban had carried out around 200 attacks, which left at least 36 dead and 126 wounded.

Indonesian passenger plane crashes after take off
The folloiwng reports surface just a few years after Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 carrying 162 people crashed into the sea. Earlier, Lion Air said it has lost contact with a passenger jet flying from Jakarta to an island off Sumatra .

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

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.

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".

While preparations had been "better" in Kandahar compared with the previous weekend, hiccups with biometric devices and voter lists persisted.

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

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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