Voter registration begins in Kunar

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Lawrence .J Lily

2008-10-23

ASADABAD, Oct. 14—Voter registration has begun in Kunar province for the presidential elections set to take place in autumn 2009. This will be Afghanistan’s second presidential race, and President Hamid Karzai, who won the first election in 2004, is planning to run again.

Afghan citizens are eager to participate in it despite security challenges and daunting logistics. “I intend to vote in the election to choose our president,” said Salarzai, a 36-year old resident of Asadabad. “I want to perform this act of democracy; we’re always eager to have elections for our country’s leadership.”

Other citizens will be voting for the first time. “At the time of the first presidential elections I was too young to receive a voting card because I was not yet 18,” said Atiqulllah, who registered in Asadabad. “Now I am very happy that I can get a voting card for the next presidential election. My friends are also happy and they expect the next election will enhance the prospects for peace to our country.”

Others urged their fellow citizens to exercise their right to vote, despite threats from the Taliban against anyone participating. Logistic challenges briefly delayed the opening of registration centres in two districts, but the first day went smoothly otherwise.

“I expect the next election will be successful,” said Rehmanullah Sediqi from Shigal district. “I will use my vote for the candidate who will be an honest leader for Afghanistan.”

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