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Afghans Go To The Polls


The campaign has attracted a much larger field of candidates than the 2005 parliamentary polls. Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, an ethnic Hazara member of parliament, waves to supporters as he leaves a campaign rally in Jabar Khan, west of Kabul.
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The campaign has attracted a much larger field of candidates than the 2005 parliamentary polls. Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, an ethnic Hazara member of parliament, waves to supporters as he leaves a campaign rally in Jabar Khan, west of Kabul.

More than 2,500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in Afghanistan's lower house of parliament. Here in Herat, western Afghanistan, the Taliban have threatened to disrupt the voting.
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More than 2,500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in Afghanistan's lower house of parliament. Here in Herat, western Afghanistan, the Taliban have threatened to disrupt the voting.

Sixty-eight of the 249 seats are reserved for women. On the campaign trail, Nima Suratgar, a parliamentary candidate, meets with a group of teachers in Kabul.
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Sixty-eight of the 249 seats are reserved for women. On the campaign trail, Nima Suratgar, a parliamentary candidate, meets with a group of teachers in Kabul.

More than 17 million eligible voters are expected to participate in the vote, which is complicated by Afghanistan's vast and challenging geography. Villagers load a donkey with election supplies for a remote village in the Panjshir Valley.
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More than 17 million eligible voters are expected to participate in the vote, which is complicated by Afghanistan's vast and challenging geography. Villagers load a donkey with election supplies for a remote village in the Panjshir Valley.

Violence has also blighted the run-up to the vote. An injured Afghan election commission employee after a land-mine explosion near a vehicle he was traveling in.
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Violence has also blighted the run-up to the vote. An injured Afghan election commission employee after a land-mine explosion near a vehicle he was traveling in.

Despite the presence of more than 400,000 Afghan and international forces, election authorities said more than 1,000 polling stations in the south and east of the country could not be opened for security reasons. In Kabul, an Afghan man casts his vote at a polling station.
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Despite the presence of more than 400,000 Afghan and international forces, election authorities said more than 1,000 polling stations in the south and east of the country could not be opened for security reasons. In Kabul, an Afghan man casts his vote at a polling station.

On election day, President Hamid Karzai casts his vote at a polling station in Kabul.
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On election day, President Hamid Karzai casts his vote at a polling station in Kabul.

There have been reports of irregularities. These fake voting cards were seized in Helmand Province.
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There have been reports of irregularities. These fake voting cards were seized in Helmand Province.

On election day, security was tight across Afghanistan, with police officers and Afghan and international soldiers manning checkpoints and guarding polling stations.
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On election day, security was tight across Afghanistan, with police officers and Afghan and international soldiers manning checkpoints and guarding polling stations.

A police officer searches a voter entering a polling station in the Afghan capital.
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A police officer searches a voter entering a polling station in the Afghan capital.

An Afghan woman shows her inked finger at a Kabul polling station. Many voters complained that the ink was easy to wash off.
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An Afghan woman shows her inked finger at a Kabul polling station. Many voters complained that the ink was easy to wash off.

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