Leading by example, President Hamid Karzai has cast his ballot in Afghanistan’s parliamentary election.
After voting, he urged fellow Afghans to do the same, despite insurgent violence and early reports of electoral irregularities.
As polling stations opened, deadly atttacks demonstrated the Taliban’s commitment to disrupt the country’s crucial parliamentary election.
Don’t be intimidated was the message.
“We do hope there will be a high voter turnout, that nobody will be deterred by security incidents – I am sure there will be some – and that people will come out and vote for the person, man or woman, of their choice without pressure, without the force of money or any other pressure,” said Karzai.
The fraud factor is one reason why this is a stern test for Afghanistan in the wake of last year’s flawed presidential election.
As for violence, as early voting got underway, the Governor of Kandahar survived a blast and a rocket attack in the east killed two people. Despite tight security, even before polls opened, a rocket landed near the US embassy and the headquarters of NATO-led forces in Kabul.