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Afghanistan: Voting Goes Ahead Amid Insecurity, Ink Problems at Polls Widespread

Kabul, September 18, 2010 - Polls opened for voting in Afghanistan’s 2010 parliamentary elections at 7am this morning. Nearly 7,000 FEFA observers were on hand to monitor the polls in all 34 provinces and at 60 percent of polling stations nationwide. Long-term observers submitted reports on the opening of the polls by phone and SMS throughout the morning. It is now possible for FEFA to make some general statements about the early hours of the process based on reports submitted between 7am and 11am. More than 1,500 of observed polling centers opened late. The security forces performed their protection duties well overall. Though there were numerous attacks, none were severe enough to disrupt voting on a wide scale. Ink quality was a widespread problem, with voters able to easily wash the ink off their fingers in at least 2,950 polling centers in half a dozen provinces. Lack of female IEC staff was another extensively reported challenge. FEFA observers reported 1,062 polling center without any female poll workers. In Paktia province, for example, there were no female election workers at any of the 201 polling stations designated for women. Intimidation was carried out by insurgents, powerbrokers and candidates at the outset of voting. FEFA observers reported 224 serious acts of intimidation during the first four hours of Election Day. Despite the ban on campaigning after the official close of the campaign period on September 16, observes reported 643 cases of candidates campaigning on Election Day in voting places, with the greatest number of offenses reported in Kabul, Nangarhar, Balkh, Herat, Khost and Paktia. FEFA will release a second Election Day statement approximately 2 hours after the close of polls.

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9/18/2010

Date

FEFA

Publisher

Report

Type

Election 2010

Category

Contact Info

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