Local News Summary – Sept 22

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In today’s local news: competing alliances are already claiming significant numbers of seats in the Wolesi Jirga elections; Taliban are reported to have been cutting off fingers in Herat; and the governor of Wardak is claiming the election was a success despite security issues in his province.

Opposition Claims Victory in Parliamentary Elections
Mandegar, Dari daily, Sept 22, 2010

The political alliance of “Hope and Change” led by Abdullah Abdullah claims to have won close to one hundred of the seats and thus claims victory in Sept 18 parliamentary election. On the other hand Mahmoud Karzai, brother of the president Hamid Karzai, claims that their candidates have won most of the seats in Kandahar.

“Taliban Cut Off Voters’ Fingers”- Report
Mandegar, Dari daily, Sept 22, 2010

There are reports that in western Herat province that Taliban have cut the fingers of three people who have voted in the Sept 18 parliamentary election. This incident was reported to have taken place in Aoba district of Herat province. Moreover, there are also reports that Taliban have kidnapped a candidate in Herat, in the post election period and of whom there is no news available since then.     

People Answered the Enemy by Voting: Wardak Governor
8 am, Dari daily, Sept 22, 2010

The governor of Wardak province, Fadayi, declares the election a success in his province and says that despite security threats people participated in election in large numbers.

Elections in the Shadow of Guns (editorial)
8 am, Dari daily, Sept 22, 2010

Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups, a project run by the UNDP’s Afghanistan’s New Beginnings Programme, says that about 1,000 illegal armed groups are active in the country. It is also possible that the real numbers of these armed might even be larger than this. However, one thing is clear that in this or in any other elections, these armed men would not just be bystanders. Given the political situation in the country, there is no doubt that many of these illegal armed groups have had influence on the electoral process.