Afghan elections held amid violence; Marred by fraud and low turnout

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September 18, 2010 13:03

A deserted polling station in Kabul. Photo - Paula Bronstein /Getty Images

Who: Afghan voters.

What: At least 14 people were killed in terror attacks as Afghanistan held its parliamentary elections. Observers received thousands of complaints of ballot-stuffing, repeat voting, vote-buying and other fraudulent methods to rig the results. A turnout of only 40% was reported with voting cancelled  in at least 20% of the polling centres due to security fears. Reports said almost a million fewer votes were cast this year than in a presidential poll last year.

Where: The voting took place across the country with the highest voter turnout witnessed in Kabul.

When: The polling started at 0800 and ended at 1600 local time on Saturday, 19 September.

Why: Western observers admit majority of the Afghans are disillusioned and disengaged with the process due to the worsening of security situation and corruption in Karzai’s administration. Insurgent activity is all-time high and has spread to regions that were previously untouched. Latest financial scandal involving Afghanistan’s largest commercial bank run by Hamid Karzai’s brother has rocked the credibility of his administration as well as his international backers.

How: Official estimates suggest 10.5 million people were eligible to vote however less than 4 million people took part in the parliamentary elections. A total number of 2,514 candidates fielded the elections for the 249 parliamentary seats. Western governments raised $150 million to hold the elections in the country where rebels control much of the territory.

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