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article imageAfghan election members bodies found

By Kev Hedges     Sep 19, 2010 in Politics
Kabul - The bodies of three Independent Election Commission members in Afghanistan have been found a day after they had been kidnapped in the Chemtal district of Balkh province .
The IEC representative Fazl Ahmad Manawi said:
Unfortunately three IEC workers who were abducted yesterday in the Chemtal district of Balkh province were killed and we found their bodies today and about 29 other election workers have been wounded in incidents on Saturday
They had been abducted during parliamentary elections which the Taliban had vowed to disrupt. International observers though praised those who did go out to vote as 'brave'. Turnout was said to be 40 per cent. 2,514 candidates, 406 of whom are women, are battling it out for 249 seats in the Wolesi Jirga (lower house of Afghanistan parliament).
There are however many reports of electoral fraud, a monitoring group has said it has found 'extensive irregularities' and has urged the election commission to look at the integrity of the election process. Out of the 6,835 polling centres some 1,019 had been closed because of security fears. The monitoring group The Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan also said local power lords were guilty of intimidation. The Taliban had warned voters to 'stick to Jihad' and avoid the ballot box.
The outcome is not expected to change the government, although President Karzai's credibility could suffer some damage if his preferred candidates are defeated, or if vote-rigging is suspected, observers say.
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