Poll campaign kicks off in Afghanistan

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Kabul, Sep 28 (IANS) The electoral campaign for the long-delayed Afghan parliamentary and district councils elections began on Friday across the country.

The polling will be held on October 20. Around 2,691 candidates from 33 out of 34 provinces (excluding Ghazni) will stand for the Parliament’s 249 seats, Xinhua news agency reported.

The first parliamentary election in the post-Taliban Afghanistan was held in 2005 while the second parliamentary polls took place in 2010.

However, the third parliamentary polls, originally scheduled to be held in early 2015 following presidential elections, were repeatedly delayed.

Meanwhile, elections in Ghazni province are reportedly delayed by Afghan Election Commission for several reasons, including lack of female candidates for district councils’ seats.

Based on the electoral timeline, the election campaign for districts councils’ nominees will start on October 3. The electoral campaign will end on October 17.

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In accordance with the Afghan electoral law, a series of principles and restrictions must be respected by the candidates, including the neutrality of organization and places for holding speeches, the impartiality of the media and transparency of the election campaign as well as equity and equality of opportunity among all candidates.

Over 9 million registered voters, including 3 million women, will cast their ballots to elect members of Wolesi Jirga or lower house of Parliament for a five-year term while they will also vote to elect members of the district councils.

–IANS

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