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Attacks, fraud fears dampen turnout while Afghan election

Turnout at Afghanistan’s presidential election seemed likely Sunday to hit a record low due to the danger of strikes, a muted effort, and worries over fraud.

Approximately 9.6 million Afghans from the war-torn state — with the estimated population of 35 million — was enrolled to vote at the election, which had been held in 4,905 polling centers.

A tally published late Sunday from the Independent Election Commission revealed that using data gathered from 3,736 polling centers, only over 2.19 million votes were counted.

In 2014, for example, turnout was a little under 50 percent, but direct comparisons are demanding since previous surveys were tainted with allegations of fraud.

Authorities declared Saturday’s election as a victory since the Taliban were not able to pull a large-scale assault leading to large casualty numbers. Also, there were fewer technical problems than some had feared.

However, the insurgents nevertheless pushed their offensive about the democratic process, running a series of bombings in polling stations and participating Afghan security forces in clashes throughout the nation.

According to the Afghanistan Advisors Network, that captured episodes through different sources, over 400 strikes were reported within the span of the election.

The Taliban claimed to have run 531 attacks, although the interior ministry said: “the enemy” had completed 68 assaults.

However, in years past, police have suppressed data on election day to give more significant amounts later.

However, Shahrazad Akbar, who heads the Afghan administration’s Independent Human Rights Commission, stated that she breathed”a bit of relief” that the election had gone smoothly in contrast to preceding decades.

“The Afghan security forces showed a true capacity in handling the security situation across Afghanistan in ensuring individuals have access to polling centers,” she told AFP.

However, turnout was hampered by skepticism concerning the electoral procedure.

Along with the election campaign itself appeared practically moribund during the two weeks of campaigning because most believed the survey — twice postponed while the US and the Taliban attempted to negotiate a troop withdrawal bargain — could be pushed back again.

It was just after US President Donald Trump scuppered those discussions on September 7 which candidates believed the election could occur, leaving little time for them to effort.

Turnout was low due to safety hazards and”the feeble campaigning of these candidates” political analyst and Kabul academic Atta Noori told AFP.

“It isn’t because they weren’t curious to vote,” he explained.

Independent political analyst Haroun Mir stated that with a meager turnout, the election might be regarded as a success for the democratic process since it had been”much cleaner” than previous surveys.

The USA, which has repeatedly called on candidates to ditch fraud,” said: “government leaders and institutions have to be accountable and transparent to the Afghan people.” “We anticipate Afghanistan’s associations to carry all necessary actions to make sure the election, for example, analysis of complaints and tabulation of results, is clear and credible to both Afghan voters and the global community,” a US State Department spokesperson said.

Election officials have said the outcome is the purest, however, with gear such as biometric fingerprint readers and improved training for poll workers making sure that the vote was reasonable.

As of Sunday evening, none of those candidates seemed to have increased any complaints.

Results aren’t expected until October 19. Candidates want over 50% of the vote to be announced winner or the best two will go for another round in November.