Voting for Afghan parliament resumes on reserved day

UN noted it was encouraged by high numbers of Afghans who turned out to vote

Voting for Afghan parliament resumes on reserved day

Voting began on Sunday for the second and final day in the long-due Afghan parliamentary elections amid an array of technical glitches and delays, officials confirmed.

Syed Hafeez Hashimi, spokesman for the Independent Election Commission, told Anadolu Agency that the remaining registered voters will cast their votes in 253 polling stations across the country.

 “We successfully managed to hold the Wolesi Jirga (Lower House) elections in some 4,500 polling stations on Saturday. But unfortunately, we could not conduct polls on time in some polling stations yesterday, so the polls would take place there today,” he said.

The election commission has also announced to hold polls in Kandahar province on Oct. 27 which was hit by a deadly Taliban shootout days before elections, forcing authorities to postpone them.

President Ashraf Ghani hailed the historic elections after a delay of three years.

 “There was lack of confidence, but that evolved into confidence, there was criticism that evolved into cooperation," Ghani said.  

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement late Saturday night it was encouraged by the high numbers of Afghans who turned out to vote. “Those voters deserve to be commended for carrying out their civic duty. Those eligible voters who were not able to cast their vote, due to technical issues, deserve the right to vote,” read the statement.

Long-queues of voters were seen, even in remote rural areas on the first day of voting.

Some 8.8 million people registered to vote for 2,500 candidates running for the Wolesi Jirga, the election commission said.

Preliminary results are expected 20 days after the election on Nov. 10 while final results are due by Dec. 20.

More than 70,000 security and defense forces were assigned to ensure security of the parliamentary elections.