After waiting a week to cast their votes, Kandahar residents have finally been able to post their ballots in this parliamentary election.
Kandahar residents will choose 11 candidates out of 111 parliamentary candidates Saturday, a week after the rest of the country voted.
Having had a week to sort out problems that plagued polling centers and stations around the country last Saturday, it was hoped that by now these issues would have been ironed out.
However, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) promised to open polling centers at 7am as scheduled and to resolve problems with voter lists and the biometric system.
But some polling centers had still not opened by 8am, while dozens of people lined up outside. Voters also complained about problems with the voter lists and said that there were also problems regarding the biometric system.
Residents said some polling stations opened late and voter material also only arrived late at some centers.
Despite Taliban threats, voters turned out in large numbers and encouraged others to take part.
“I request all men, women, young and old that if you really want a bright Afghanistan then come out for the sacrifice and cast your vote,” said Mohammad Saddiq an elderly voter.
Bashir Ahmad, another resident of Kandahar, who is disabled and came to cast his vote, called voting vital for the future of Afghanistan and criticized the IEC for not starting the process on time.
However earlier in the day as voters waited for centers to open one resident said: “We request that the process must start as soon as possible, the people have got work and some left their children at home to come and vote,” Ahmad said.
Elections in Kandahar were delayed after the provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq was assassinated in a shootout just two days ahead of the scheduled national October 20 election day.
Ghazni elections were delayed for an as yet indefinite period due to disagreements over constituencies and security issues.
IEC officials said 4,500 observers will monitor the election process in Kandahar and 6,000 staff have been hired in Kandahar for the election process.