Afghan election commission officials injured in blast near Kabul headquarters

Afghan election commission officials injured in blast near Kabul headquarters

Independent Election Commission deputy spokesman Aziz Ibrahimi said voting was to start at 7 a.m. Saturday at 1,113 polling stations throughout Kandahar, but early reports said scores of polling stations opened late because staff did not show up or election materials were not readily available. The U.S. -backed government is rife with corruption and many Afghans have said they do not expect the elections to be fair.

The long-delayed parliamentary elections, which were held over two weekends, were targeted in some 250 militant attacks across the country, which killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 100 others. The top USA general in Afghanistan survived; two Americans were injured.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said tight security measures were being taken in order to ensure safe voting.

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IEC figures show roughly 4.2 million out of the almost nine million people registered to vote actually cast a ballot. Ballot boxes could not be set up in two Kandahar districts, Nesh and Maruf, due to security concerns. Polling time was extended by one hour to ensure everyone could vote. Three of those seats are reserved for women.

Unofficial election results of the parliamentary balloting are not expected before mid-November and official results sometime in December. The 2014 presidential election was plagued by accusations of widespread fraud and dragged on for several months. No time frame has been announced for rescheduling the ballot in Ghazni.

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