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Live Blog: Election Day In Afghanistan


Afghan election officials count ballot papers after polls closed in Kabul on June 14.

Highlights

Latest News

-- The vote count continues, as does the investigation into hundreds of claims of vote fraud. Final preliminary results are expected on July 2, and final results on July 22.

-- Many media refrained from reporting violence during the vote, but officials said June 15 that more than 270 Taliban attacks were recorded, resulting in the deaths of 50 civilians.

-- In one attack, a roadside bomb exploded beside a minibus that was carrying Afghan election workers home, killing 10 adults and a child.

-- Taliban militants severed the voting fingers of 11 voters in Herat Province.

-- The Independent Electoral Commission initially said that there were signs that voter turnout exceeded 7 million, putting it roughly on par with the first-round vote in April.

-- Officials said that, of those who turned out, 38 percent were women and 62 percent were men.

* NOTE: Times are stated according to local time in Kabul
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Ahead of Saturday's election, Afghanistan's first female taxi driver offers some advice to the next president.

Sara Bahai tells AFP that the new president must push ahead with reforms in the face of opposition from Islamists.

Here are some key quotes:

"I have many expectations for the next government. They must pay serious attention to women."

"Women should be given bigger roles, they should be given seats as ministers. And female teachers should be paid more to help female education."

"I see a lot of changes for Afghan women in the past few years. Many are setting up businesses to do whatever they want. Much work​ has been done, but it is not enough -- women are aware of their rights."
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Afghanistan Analysts Network decribes the political landscape ahead of the vote in an article titled "Deals And Insults In Afghanistan's Second Round Campaign."

It provides insight into where loyalties lie among candidates who failed to reach the second round and describes the increasingly nasty tone of campaign.
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"The Reform and Partnership [eds. Abdullah's campaign team] team will try to eliminate poverty"

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Describing the runoff vote as "an unprecedented event for Afghanistan's democracy," the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan has stressed the importance of continuing to improve electoral process and reassuring the Afghan people that their votes will count.

"Elections are both a technical and a political exercise," Jan Kubis, special representative of the secretary-general for Afghanistan, said in a June 10 press release. "The electoral institutions must learn and implement lessons from the first round to reassure all those who want to vote that they will be able to do so, as well as to improve transparency and communication in the management of the results and complaints. But technical improvements alone will not result in a better election without the political will of candidates to respect the process and its results and to disavow fraud by their supporters, as well as for government officials to remain impartial."

The entire message can be found here.
16:05 10.6.2014

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