Ballots cast in Kabul amid blasts, low turnout

KABUL (Pajhwok): The voting process went well in most parts of Kabul, but the turnout in some areas was lower than the previous elections.

Violations
A Pajhwok report wanted to visit a polling centre at the Qala-i-Zaman Khan Girls High School in the jurisdiction of 16th police district, but officials did not let her enter the site.
When the reporter tried to interview a female voter outside the polling station, the presiding officer, Mohammad Qurban, intervened and said reporters had no right to interview voters in the vicinity.
He also warned the girl that she risked her life by giving such interviews. Qurban did not elaborate how she would risk her life, but said he was just following orders from high-ups.
The election law says journalists shall not be barred from covering the electoral process.
Elsewhere in Kabul province, illegal armed men and security personnel were seen inside a polling station set up at a high school for boys in Daku area of Mir Bacha Kot district.
However, the election law bans security forces and common people from entering polling stations with guns.
The polling station head, who wished anonymity, said armed individuals should not be allowed entry into polling station.
But a security official at the site said: “the security situation is not good and there is need to have security men inside the polling station.”
Journalists and observers were not allowed entry into a polling station in the Pul-i-Charkhi area for unknown reasons. 
The station’s in-charge said they had to briefly suspend voting after security officials attempted to shift the site to another location but faced with resistance from voters.
Turnout
The turnout in some areas of Kabul was low as compared to the first round of elections.
Nasrin, a resident of the 6th police district, said she was satisfied with the election process, but people’s participation was low this time.
Arghawan, a resident of Macro Ryan area, said there were no reports about rigging, but the turnout was unsatisfactory: “All people eligible to vote should come out and cast exercise their right to enfranchise for the sake of a bright future of the country”
Voters in Deh Sabz, Paghman, Khaki Jabar, Sarobi and Bagrami districts also confirmed the turnout was not as much high as seen during the previous elections
Security incidents
Before the start of voting, a bomb blast took place in the limits of fifth police district of Kabul City and another blast happened in the 11th police district on Saturday, but security forces did not comment if there were any casualties.
A police official in the 16th police district said on condition of anonymity said a bomb blast ripped through a police van in the area.
A mine exploded inside a polling station set up at the Takhail Girls School in Deh Sabz district, but caused no casualties 
mnm/ma

 

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