Polls close peacefully in Nangarhar

20 Aug 2009

Polls close peacefully in Nangarhar

20 August 2009 - 5:38 pm: Early indications suggest an encouraging turnout in Nangarhar though some polling centres saw a low turnout – as low as about 170 in one of the polling centres at the Medical Faculty School in Jalalabad.


Election staff have attributed the low turnout to “too many centres” in a small neighbourhood in Jalalabad.

“There are three other (polling) centres in the radius of about 200 metres from here,” said an election staff member posted at the Medical Faculty School polling centre.

About a kilometre away, at the Bibi Aisha school polling centre, the turnout was high – 1,757.

Likewise, the turnout in women centres was encouraging – with about 1,000 in each of the two women polling centres, the Experimental School and the Women’s Affairs Department.

UNAMA observed that proper measures had been put in place to avoid fraud.

Domestic observers could be seen in each centre and international observers were also seen in most of the centres.

Police frisked each potential voter for security before they were allowed inside polling centres.

However, UNAMA saw in most of the polling centres that punching machines used to make holes in voter registration cards were not working and the election staff were using scissors instead.

“This (problem with punching machines) delayed the voting for some time in the morning,” said a polling staff.

In other parts of the eastern region, some violent incidents occurred with mortar attacks and explosions.

Two policemen were killed when an Improvised Explosive Device was detonated in Shirzad district.

In Nari district of Kunar province, two members of the Afghan National Border Police were killed in mortar attacks.

Many polling centres didn’t open in Nuristan province due to security reasons, while polling in other centres that were kept open went well.

By Tilak Pokharel, UNAMA