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Disappointing turnout in Afghan poll

18/09/10 19:17 CET

The polls have closed in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, with official turnout put at 40 per cent, lower than hoped for.

President Hamid Karzai was among those to cast his vote in the capital Kabul, as did opposition leader Abdullah Abdullah, but the election was marred by rocket attacks on voters that killed at least 10 people.

Around a tenth of all polling stations didn’t open because of security fears, while reports of voters scrubbing their fingers clean in order to cast multiple votes also cast a shadow over the poll.

Observers were looking for a high turnout and a fraud-free election as a sign of support from the population for a democracy that’s struggling to take hold in face of external opposition from the taliban movement and internal problems with corruption.

Preliminary results from the poll are not expected before early October.

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