Kabul (October 20, 2018): In Afghanistan, parliamentary elections are being held today except Kandahar and Ghazni provinces.
The United Nations, which has been supporting the process has urged Afghans to use this opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote and called for the election to take place in a safe and secure environment.
Thousands of police and soldiers have been deployed across the country. Nine candidates and hundreds of people have been killed and wounded in election-related attacks.
Nearly nine million people registered to vote in the elections. Polling centres in 32 provinces will open at 7 am this morning.
The Independent Election Commission says the polling centres will remain open until 4 pm today.The election commission has 5,070 centres across the country and more than 2,500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament.
The elections will not be held in Ghazni and Kandahar provinces due to security issues.
The Independent Election Commission on Sunday said they have issued over 200,000 accreditation cards to national and international observers and organizations, including the Afghan election watchdog organizations. Afghans from different parts of the country said they are ready to vote in the parliamentary elections despite challenges. They said only eligible candidates should be voted for.
“People should go to polling stations tomorrow (Saturday) and vote for competent candidates,” said Abdul Hadi Bahir, a Kabul resident.
“People should vote for the candidates who will serve the nation and take the country out of the current situation,” said Mir Maftoon, an artist from Badakhshan.A Kabul resident, who says he has not registered now says he regrets that he will not be able to vote on election day.
“I wish I had registered and it would have been better if was able to vote. But now it is not the time for registration,” said Habib Rahmati, a Kabul resident.
A number of political analysts said a vast turnout of Afghans is a must for the elections.
“If people stay in their homes and do not vote, then the remarks of those who are against democracy will be supported,” said Mohammad Umer Daudzai, member of the leadership team of Council for Protection and Stability in Afghanistan.
According to figures by the Independent Election Commission (IEC), at least nine million people have registered to vote in the elections.