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Afghanistan Presidential Election: Polls open against tight security | News



Polls were opened in Afghanistan's presidential election amid fears of violence stemming from threats by the Taliban to disrupt the electoral process.

Security was tightened across the country, with tens of thousands of troops and police stationed to guard polling stations and prevent attacks.

An explosion struck at least 15 people in the precinct in the southern city of Kandahar early Saturday.

The ballot boxes open at 19:00 local time (2:30 GMT) and are scheduled to close at 17:00 (14:30 GMT).

The presidential election is contested by 15 candidates, with incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah being considered top candidates.

The two men share power over the past five years in what is known as the unity government formed by the United States following allegations of widespread fraud and corruption in the 201

4 polls.

Taliban waging war demanding Foreign troops withdrawal from the country following the overthrow of US-led forces in 2001, declared the election a "shaman."

On Thursday, the group called on Afghans to boycott the vote and threatened to attack security forces and block roads.

"We ask our compatriots to refrain from their homes on this day, so that if [God] is banned, no one should be hurt, "the statement said. [19659004] The Taliban began peace talks with the US last October, but earlier this month, following the conclusion of the ninth round of talks, US President Donald Trump voiced heightened hopes for a deal, sharply declaring discussions "dead." [19659011] "End of War Leader"

More than 72,000 security personnel are stationed at 49,402 voting booths nationwide, while 410 polling stations will remain closed on Saturday due to security concerns.

The threat of attacks was on Af ghan voters' minds, but some said they were still determined to come out and vote.

"This election is important to us because we want a leader to negotiate peace with the Taliban and put an end to the longstanding war in the country," said Al Jazeera Ismatula Safi, a taxi driver in the capital Kabul.

the result of Saturday's vote, a fragile security situation and a dire economy dominated voter concerns.

Meanwhile, Abdullah, 59, accused Ghana, 70, of abusing power and using state resources in his election campaign – allegations which Ghani denies.

According to Nez 9.6 million Afghans high election commission, including 3.3 million women, registered on

A presidential candidate must secure 50 percent of the vote in order to win the final If no candidate crosses the threshold, a ballot will be held between the first two candidates – most likely on November 23.

Preliminary results are not expected before October 17 and final results will be announced on November 7.


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