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Afghan Vote Count Reaches Midpoint

JEMB head Peter Erben (left, in file photo) 29 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The chief electoral officer for Afghanistan's recent parliamentary elections says ballot counting should be completed as scheduled next week.

The announcement came on 28 September from Peter Erben of the UN-Afghan Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB).

"We will have a target date for the completion of the count of around 4 October," Erben said. "Given that the two first days of the count -- [September] 20th and 21st -- were a very slow start, we are about halfway in the counting process. So, the overall picture is that we are approximately on target at this moment. However, we do have a number of our locations that are behind. This will be [corrected] by real location of staff and optimization of methodology with which we count."

Erben said that once the count is finished in each province, there will be a period for reviewing complaints before official results are announced on 22 October.

Also on 28 September, a suicide bomb attack at a military training center in Kabul has killed at least nine people.

A purported Taliban spokesman said the ousted hard-line Islamic regime was responsible for what was one of the bloodiest suicide attacks since the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban in late 2001.


For RFE/RL's full coverage of the legislative elections in Afghanistan, see "Afghanistan Votes"