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10.3 Million Afghans Enrolled To Vote

More Than 10.3 Million Afghans Enrolled To Vote As Registrations Close

At least 10.3 million Afghans have enrolled to vote in their country's upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections after the final registration sites closed last Friday, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) has announced.

That figure is expected to rise as registration details continue to be verified over the next few weeks at the Kabul headquarters of the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB), UNAMA spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters yesterday at a briefing.

Mr. de Almeida e Silva said 10,353,380 people were confirmed as registered voters as of last Saturday, with women comprising more than 4.2 million, or 41 per cent, of the total.

Previously JEMB has estimated there are 9.8 million eligible voters in Afghanistan, but said their estimates were inexact because war and Taliban misrule meant there has not been accurate census in the country since the 1970s.

Registration sites closed on Friday in 42 districts of seven provinces across the south and southeast, five days after they shut down in the rest of the country.

Presidential polls will take place on 9 October while national and local parliamentary elections are scheduled for next April.

Mr. de Almeida e Silva said the registration of Afghan refugees still living in Iran has also been completed, adding that more than 1,000 polling stations will be set up in Iran on 9 October.

For Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, however, registration will begin on 1 October and run for three days.

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