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08/27/2009

The Presidential Election

  On August 20th,  Presidential elections took place in Afghanistan for the first time in four years. The number of eligible voters currently stands at 17 million, and voter turnout is considered to be between 40 to 50%.

  Due to security reasons, 10% of the polls have been closed and relocated to a selection of the other 6,200 (approx.) sites.. To prevent multiple voting, qualified voters had their fingertips branded with ink, which  led to threats from anti-government militias that any voters would have their fingers cut-off. This threat was mainly aimed at women, although many still braved the polls – testament to the growing political determination in the country. 

  However, in light of security worries, JEN closed their offices in Kabul and Charikar on the day of election.  The day prior to the election, one member of the local staff was so concerned about the anti-government militias, that he escorted his wife to the polling station so that she could cast her vote unharmed..

The official announcement of the counting of votes takes place on 17th September. If no candidate (including President Karzai, who is expected to be re-elected) wins a majority, a run-off will be held in October. During the election period, it was predicted that further attacks acoss Afghanistan would ensue. However, as yet, there have been no reports regarding any terrorist activity in Parwan Province of Charikar, where JEN's activities are implemented.

August 27, 2009 in Afghanistan |