Thousands of people in the southern province of Helmand lined up around polling centers to cast their ballots in Saturday’s parliamentary elections despite widespread threats against them.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) opened 39 polling stations in the province to facilitate voters.
Meanwhile, IEC provincial officials in Helmand have confirmed that some shortcomings were reported in the province on Saturday, especially regarding the use of biometric devices.
“Despite the war is going on here, the process proceeded, women turnout was encouraging, all those who had stickers on their ID cards were prepared to vote in the elections,” said Latifa, a resident of Lashkargah city, the capital of Helmand.
“The presence of people here indicates that they have trusted in the government, but it is the government which is harming this trust, people came here to vote despite threats,” said Parwana a resident from Lashkargah.
Mohammad Anwar, 80, is a resident of Lashkargah city who waited for two hours to cast his vote.
“I came to vote in the elections despite I had to wait for hours here,” said Anwar.
“All problems were with biometric devices, they did not become operational on time, the issue prevented voters from casting their ballots in the elections,” said provincial governor Mohammad Yasin.
“There were technical problems with our voter lists, issues were also reported with the biometric devices,” said Mohammad Hashim Durani, head of the IEC office in Helmand.
“There was no security problem, but some missiles were fired from long distances in Kajaki, Garmser and Nahr-e-Saraj districts. But insurgents were hit by air strikes,” said Abdul Raziq Yaqoubi, police chief of Helmand.