Latest news and happenings of Afghanistan and region…
An air strike on a Taliban gathering in Baghlan province has been reported by the 209 Shahin Corps.
According to their statement that as a result of NATO airborne operations in Baghlan, a Taliban gathering has been targeted.
30 terrorists were killed in the attack.
It has been informed to Reporterly by the head of Bamyan election commission, Ali Shah Mesbah that, “The presence of women was higher than men, and all sensitive materials are transferred to the center from 220 polling centers, which include 520 stations. “
Me Mesbah also added that in 219 centres, the voting process was undertaken, but in a centre in Shibar district which consists of 2 stations in Sarghandi Baghak village, elections were not held.
Loruddin Fitrat, head of the election commission of Laghman province has told Reporterly that as of now they have not received a precise figure. He said that today however, there were clashes between the insurgents and the security forces in three polling centers, one in prison, one in the police headquarter and one other in a nomadic area.
The process ended today fortunately and the voting took place in 68 polling centres. He also added that there were some problems with biometric devices at the beginning of the day, in the Qarghayi and Mehtralam districts, but the process proceeded normally from after 8 A.M.
Security-wise, a gunman attack took place in the Gul Pacha Ulfat polling center, because of which the centre remained closed for an hour and a half, but with the arrest of the attackers, the voting process was resumed.
Zabiullah Amani, the spokesman for the Sar-e-Pul governor has clarified to Reporterly that the primary statistics are still unclear because many districts are unreachable, as some places have their telecommunication antennas not working properly.
Additionally, ballots have not been transferred to the centre completely. Although the registration had been carried out in 81 centres in the province, only 8 centres saw no voting process due to security threats. These centers did not open today, but the voting was successfully conducted in all the other areas.
Reporterly has been told by the spokesperson for Ghor governor, Abdulhai Khatibi, that out of 168 centres in the province, the election took place in 141 centres, but the people could not cast their votes in 27 other sites due to the insecurity and Taliban threats.
It was also reported that today, out of 7 centres that should have opened today including 4 centres in Dawlina district, Taliban attacks and intervention of the Air Force in which six Taliban were killed, only 2 centres finally opened and while the other two centres remain closed.
Mr Khatibi also informed that they do not have accurate data from the Election Commission yet and that there were some problems including lack of training seen in electoral staff regarding usage of biometric devices and the late arrival of ballot papers. the electoral staffs were not trained properly on how to use biometric
The provincial head of Samangan election commission, Najibullah Shafahi has informed Reporterly that voting in 6 districts was regular and smooth but only 10 stations were active in one of the districts. There were seven closed centers today and 4 center were scheduled to be open today in Dare Suf Payin which remained closed due to high security threat.
The spokesperson added that out of the 99 voting centres, which consisted of 322 stations, the voting was conducted in 92 polling centres of which 7 were closed as mentioned above.
The precise figures have not come out yet according to Mr Shafahi but the latest figure reached shows that 68,000 people have voted in the province so far.
It has been reported that 3 employees of a campaign office which belonged to candidate Asrar Tashghorghani, who were observers for elections on Saturday might have been killed in Mazar-e Sharif’s Nahr-e Shahi area.
As per local sources, their corpses were discovered in the vicinity of Nahr-e Shahi district.
The spokesman for the Faryab governor, Jawid Bidar told Reporterly that the head of the election commission has not yet announced any figures.
The polling process has ended in the province, despite delays and issues caused by the biometrics, ballot papers, and late arrival of material on Saturday. These problems were resolved by speaking to the authorities.
On Saturday, 82 centers were active across the province, and the election process got over yesterday itself.
The provincial head of election commission in Nimruz, Qudratullah Naqshbandi informed Reporterly that
there were total 50 centers in this province, which included all 204 stations of districts and the center of Nimruz, Zarang.
The voting started on Saturday at 7 am and finished at 7 pm. Moreover, the ballots have been transferred to center except for two districts that were supposed to be sent by air.
However, there are still no exact figures and tomorrow these figures will be announced.
Naser Mehri, spokesman for the Farah governor has informed Reporterly that vote count is still incomplete and the figures are changing which has made them unable to come up with an exact figure as of now.
But the spokesperson also said that there was no voting process for today in the province, while on Saturday the voting process took place in 10 districts and the center of Farah.
In a call to the commission by the authorities in Farah, it has been reported that they have only finished the counting of the center of the province. Yesterday there were 46 centers in this province, which include 166 polling stations, and each district has a polling centre and several stations, and a total of 66,000 people have registered of which, 25,000 are women. Voter turnout can he ascertained only after count is over.
The spokesperson to Maidan Wardak governor, Abdul Rahman Mangal has told Reporterly that the voting process is still on in some centres, as the voting process was not conducted in 12 polling centres yesterday, with 3 centres were in the District of Narkh, 6 centers in Sayedabad, 2 centers in Chak and 1 centers in Jalriz.
The spokesperson also said that there are no precise statistics on how many people have voted in this province, because the voting process in still ongoing. A total of 99 centers have remained in place for today for some technical issues. And the process will continue until the end of the allotted time.
The spokesman for Herat governor, Farhad Jailani, told Reporterly that the vote counting is still going on, and as of now, some candidates have unexpectedly run front in the list that has surprised everyone.
Today, elections were held in two polling centers in Herat province, which is in Rabat Sangi and Adraskan. There were 285 active centers in Herat, but the voting was not conducted in these two centers for technical reasons, and today this process has continued.
So far, the votes counting suggests that nearly 250 thousand people have voted. But the exact figures are not announced because the counting process is not finished yet and will continue until the end of the day. Yesterday there were technical problems in Herat, including the delay in the opening of polling stations, incomplete voter list, and late arrival of the equipment and materials required for the centers. But overall the presence of the people was wide and considerable as reported by the spokesperson.
The Ministry of Interior has released a statement as per 1TVNewsAF to report that on Sunday’s elections, there were, fortunately, no casualties among the voters.
This comes after 193 violent incidents happened on the first day of elections on Saturday which claimed 67 lives and injured 126 people according to Deputy Interior Minister Ibrahimi.
Najib Danish, the spokesperson for Ministry of Interior has informed that as per police reports, 60 people have been identified and arrested on the charge of meddling in electoral affairs. Some of those found guilty are government personnel, both civil and military and 40 of them are from Kabul alone.
As per President’s directive, no civilian or military personnel who are officials or government employees are supposed to intervene in electoral affairs.
Mr Danish also said, “there are serious legal repercussions for those security officials who intervene in the affairs of the elections, based on the adequate evidences.”
The director of obersver organisation FEFA, Yousuf Rashid expressed in a news conference on Sunday that the IEC did not manage the elections well which ended up rendering people’s right to vote, futile.
According to Rashid, the commission did not consider the suggestion of a 10-day postponement of the elections so as to enable everyone to be properly prepared for the voting day.
Badakhshan Governor Spokesperson, Nik Mohammad Nazami told Reporterly that 296000 people had registered as voters in the province, but the turnout on voting day is still unclear. This is because the voting ended late on Saturday and the counting is still not completed. Even the process has not been approved by IEC yet.
Of 322 polling centres in the province, only 212 were running on the voting day. Out of these 212, 26 were under high-security threat whereas 24 and 2 centres had medium and low threat respectively.
The spokesperson also informed Reporterly that “Two districts, Wardauj and Yamagan, which had 29 polling stations, are under the control of Taliban and there was no election held at these centres at all. The displaced people from these districts voted in Herm and Baharak. Three centres which are located in Fayzabad, Yaftali Bala and Keshm were also closed yesterday and are open for voting today.”
Balkh Election Commission head has said that on the first day of the Afghan parliamentary election, 27 polling centres remained closed in the province.
“Out of these 27 closed centres, 14 centres were in Chaharbulak district and the security forces were unable to secure it”, Mohammad Zahir Akbari told Reporterly.
According to him, out of a total of 315 established electoral centres in Balkh, 280 were open in the registration process, of which 27 were still not open on the voting phase so people could not cast the ballot.
According to Mr Akbari, the counting process in polling centres in Balkh province continued until 3 am this morning, and according to this count, 122,000 voted in a total of 520 polling stations, out of which 54 per cent of the voters were men and 46 per cent were women. However, according to him, the statistics are changing.
Spokesman for Daikundi governor, Ali Akbar Nateqi, told Reporterly that there were no problems with the security situation and 274 centers were open to all Daikundi people.
However, there were technical problems. There was no regular structure, the electoral staff were not familiar enough with the biometric system, and the list of voters was incomplete, for instance, 600 voters had registered in a center but only 300 were named in the list. Moreover, the electoral staff arrived late.
These issues have created security concerns as well, resulting in crowding, and creating a number of conflicts between the people and the electoral staff. However, with the help of security forces, the issue was resolved.
At 12:00 P.M, a new procedure had been introduced to the staff of the Commission, saying that in those polling centers with biometric system and voter lists problem, voters can cast their votes as per their tazkiras with stickers. This procedure was applied after 1:30 P.M and the long queues of voters waited up till 8 pm when all people were able to cast their votes.
It has been confirmed to Ariana News that Edress Zaman will be appointed as the Deputy Minister for political affairs.
Nangarhar governor’s spokesperson has informed 1TVNewsAF that the elections have concluded in the province.
Provincial spokesperson Ataullah Khogiani has informed Reporterly that a roadside bomb blast has killed 11 members of a family.
Local authorities in the Nangarhar have also corroborated to the incident of an explosion in Achin district.
An IEC commissioner, Maliha Hassan, told Reporterly that on Sunday, the reasons for the delayed beginning of the voting process in a number of centres, including the Dawazda Imams in Kabul, can be ascribed to the irregularities caused by of a number of candidates’ observers.
It is reported that the voting process has not officially begun in the Dawazda Imam’s centre in Kabul.
At a press conference in Kabul, Ministry of Interior spokesperson Najib Danesh brought out some statements with respect to electoral security to assure that everything is under control.
Speaking about the security situation he said: “we ensure all Afghans that security situation is under control of our security forces throughout the country.” He also added that all the sensitive electoral material is being transported to the provinces and districts.
As reported before, there have been two attacks by insurgents as of now and the targets of the attacks had been security forces’ outposts. Thankfully, it was clarified by the Ministry of Interior spokesperson that the attacks had been thwarted by the forces.
Assuring further about the controlled security situation, Mr Danesh said that there is no security concern in Logar and Baghlan today.
In a press conference held at GMIC, Sayed Shah Saqim, the spokesperson for Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) stated that provincial governors monitored the elections and operations in 32 provinces of Afghanistan on Saturday’s elections.
He also pointed out that as per the statistical estimated of IDLG, only 7% of electoral operations on Saturday faced problems, making the rest 93% operations run more or less smoothly.
The beginning of the second day of the Afghan parliamentary elections in the centres which were closed yesterday has somehow also received hurdles.
According to the latest election commission’s reports, out of a total of 5074 polling centres, close to 4,667 centres were open on Saturday, and 407 remained blocked, which, along with centres that did not receive electoral materials yesterday by 1:00 pm, should be open for ballot today (Sunday).
Meanwhile, according to the interior minister, a thousand polling stations in Afghanistan were blocked yesterday.
As of today, a number of western Kabul residents say it’s been around two hours that people are standing in the queue, but voting has not yet begun in some stations.
According to an eyewitness from polling stations, the polling centres in Qalae Ali Mardan, Omid Sabz township, Mahdieh, Dawazda Imam township and Quran Etrat mosque had not opened until 10:30 A.M roughly, as Reporterly checked last.
According to these witnesses, they had been standing in long queues for two hours, but since electoral materials and relevant authorities had not been present at these respective centres, delays were caused.
Afghan Journalists Safety Committee has issued a statement saying that they have recorded two cases of violence in Sunday’s elections. The committee has monitored journalist safety and behaviour of IEC as well as officials.
The recorded cases of violence included one in which a journalist was kidnapped by a candidate in Kapisa and another in which the journalist was intimidated by candidates.
“Despite our deep concerns about the safety of journalists during the election day, we are very pleased to see that there were few incidents of violence against journalists. We admire the efforts and collaboration of the security forces as well as the election workers, including the candidates and their supporters for collaborating with journalists so that they can cover the election day and convey the facts to the public”, said Najib Sharifi, Director of AJSC.
AJSC has assured that they will continue to monitor the situation in the following days as well ensure safety of journalists.
In the Dawlat Shah district of Laghman, it has been reported by 1TVNews that 8 polling stations continue to remain shut. The reason has been ascribed to non-delivery of electoral materials.
Deputy Spokesperson for IEC Zabih Ullah Sadaat has clarified that not only are there 250 polling centres across Afghanistan today which opened at 9 A.M, but they will also remain open until all voters cast their ballot.
This comes as a reassurance for voters who were concerned about getting the chance to vote
The provincial office has informed in a statement that 14 polling centres are running for ballot across 6 districts of Nangarhar on Sunday.
Commander of the 207 Zafar Army Corps today announced in a statement about robust security measures to secure the second day of parliamentary elections in the polling stations of the Western zone.
“Our security measures are still ongoing until the last ballot box reaches the center”, the command said.
Commander of the 207 Zafar Corps, Major general Noorullah Qaderi, clarified “Most of the polling stations were blocked due to technical problems in which IEC is accountable; security has not prevented the opening of polling centers.”
The commander assured the people in the western zone that their security will be ensured until the last minutes of the voting process.