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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Threats from Taliban fail to deter Afghan voters

After twelve years in power, the constitution now bars Mr Karzai from seeking another term

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In some areas, donkeys were needed to carry ballots and voting boxes news

Over half of 12 million eligible Afghans have voted in the country's weekend election.

About 58 per cent cast a vote; well above the 4.5 million who voted at the last election in 2009, which was marred by widespread fraud.

While it will take time to tabulate all the votes, the final result will bring the first-ever democratic transfer of power to the troubled country.

In some areas, donkeys were needed to carry ballots and voting boxes across rough terrain to the country's most inaccessible areas.

The final result will eventually be declared in the race to succeed president Hamid Karzai who has seen out his terms as Afghanistan's president.

After twelve years in power, the constitution now bars Mr Karzai from seeking another term.

A massive security operation was launched to discourage the Taliban, who had made threats about spoiling the election.

While there were sporadic Taliban attacks, police managed to foil most of them.

However, police officers, soldiers, civilians and Taliban fighters were killed in some of the skirmishes.

Dozens died in a spate of attacks in the preceding weeks.

The war-ravaged country is now seeking a leader who can stem the violence that has been steadily rising.

While there are eight contenders for the nation's top job, the leading candidates in the race are Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmay Rassoul.

Ahmadzai is an American-trained anthropologist who has been back in Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted. He has acted in the Karzai government as finance minister.

Abdullah is an anthropologist who belongs to the Northern Alliance. He is part-Pashtun and is known for being at the forefront of causes for the country's second-largest ethnic group, Afghan Tajiks.

Rassoul is a former foreign minister and one of Hamid Karzai's closest confidants; a statesman who has held roles in national security.

The outgoing Hamid Karzai spoke to the nation on TV on the weekend, saying: "On behalf of the people, I thank the security forces, election commission and people who exercised democracy and turned another page in the glorious history of Afghanistan."

World leaders have praised the election as historic, with United States president Barack Obama commending the Afghan people, security forces, and elections officials on the turnout for the vote.

The US has recently been trying to convince Mr Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement that would permit about 8,000 US troops to remain in the country after the formal US withdrawal at the end of 2014.

There are fears that Taliban leaders could once again force their way into power through force.

Over the past thirteen years the lives of nearly 3,500 members of a US-led coalition of troops and many thousands more from Afghanistan's fledging security forces have been lost.

At least 16,000 civilians have been killed in the violence perpetrated by the Taliban.

- See more at: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/220865591/scat/c08dd24cec417021/ht/Threats-from-Taliban-fail-to-deter-Afghan-voters#sthash.yH2u1Dea.dpuf

Over half of 12 million eligible Afghans have voted in the country's weekend election.

About 58 per cent cast a vote; well above the 4.5 million who voted at the last election in 2009, which was marred by widespread fraud.

While it will take time to tabulate all the votes, the final result will bring the first-ever democratic transfer of power to the troubled country.

In some areas, donkeys were needed to carry ballots and voting boxes across rough terrain to the country's most inaccessible areas.

The final result will eventually be declared in the race to succeed president Hamid Karzai who has seen out his terms as Afghanistan's president.

After twelve years in power, the constitution now bars Mr Karzai from seeking another term.

A massive security operation was launched to discourage the Taliban, who had made threats about spoiling the election.

While there were sporadic Taliban attacks, police managed to foil most of them.

However, police officers, soldiers, civilians and Taliban fighters were killed in some of the skirmishes.

Dozens died in a spate of attacks in the preceding weeks.

The war-ravaged country is now seeking a leader who can stem the violence that has been steadily rising.

While there are eight contenders for the nation's top job, the leading candidates in the race are Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmay Rassoul.

Ahmadzai is an American-trained anthropologist who has been back in Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted. He has acted in the Karzai government as finance minister.

Abdullah is an anthropologist who belongs to the Northern Alliance. He is part-Pashtun and is known for being at the forefront of causes for the country's second-largest ethnic group, Afghan Tajiks.

Rassoul is a former foreign minister and one of Hamid Karzai's closest confidants; a statesman who has held roles in national security.

The outgoing Hamid Karzai spoke to the nation on TV on the weekend, saying: "On behalf of the people, I thank the security forces, election commission and people who exercised democracy and turned another page in the glorious history of Afghanistan."

World leaders have praised the election as historic, with United States president Barack Obama commending the Afghan people, security forces, and elections officials on the turnout for the vote.

The US has recently been trying to convince Mr Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement that would permit about 8,000 US troops to remain in the country after the formal US withdrawal at the end of 2014.

There are fears that Taliban leaders could once again force their way into power through force.

Over the past thirteen years the lives of nearly 3,500 members of a US-led coalition of troops and many thousands more from Afghanistan's fledging security forces have been lost.

At least 16,000 civilians have been killed in the violence perpetrated by the Taliban.

- See more at: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/220865591/scat/c08dd24cec417021/ht/Threats-from-Taliban-fail-to-deter-Afghan-voters#sthash.yH2u1Dea.dpuf

Over half of 12 million eligible Afghans have voted in the country's weekend election.

About 58 per cent cast a vote; well above the 4.5 million who voted at the last election in 2009, which was marred by widespread fraud.

While it will take time to tabulate all the votes, the final result will bring the first-ever democratic transfer of power to the troubled country.

In some areas, donkeys were needed to carry ballots and voting boxes across rough terrain to the country's most inaccessible areas.

The final result will eventually be declared in the race to succeed president Hamid Karzai who has seen out his terms as Afghanistan's president.

After twelve years in power, the constitution now bars Mr Karzai from seeking another term.

A massive security operation was launched to discourage the Taliban, who had made threats about spoiling the election.

While there were sporadic Taliban attacks, police managed to foil most of them.

However, police officers, soldiers, civilians and Taliban fighters were killed in some of the skirmishes.

Dozens died in a spate of attacks in the preceding weeks.

The war-ravaged country is now seeking a leader who can stem the violence that has been steadily rising.

While there are eight contenders for the nation's top job, the leading candidates in the race are Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmay Rassoul.

Ahmadzai is an American-trained anthropologist who has been back in Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted. He has acted in the Karzai government as finance minister.

Abdullah is an anthropologist who belongs to the Northern Alliance. He is part-Pashtun and is known for being at the forefront of causes for the country's second-largest ethnic group, Afghan Tajiks.

Rassoul is a former foreign minister and one of Hamid Karzai's closest confidants; a statesman who has held roles in national security.

The outgoing Hamid Karzai spoke to the nation on TV on the weekend, saying: "On behalf of the people, I thank the security forces, election commission and people who exercised democracy and turned another page in the glorious history of Afghanistan."

World leaders have praised the election as historic, with United States president Barack Obama commending the Afghan people, security forces, and elections officials on the turnout for the vote.

The US has recently been trying to convince Mr Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement that would permit about 8,000 US troops to remain in the country after the formal US withdrawal at the end of 2014.

There are fears that Taliban leaders could once again force their way into power through force.

Over the past thirteen years the lives of nearly 3,500 members of a US-led coalition of troops and many thousands more from Afghanistan's fledging security forces have been lost.

At least 16,000 civilians have been killed in the violence perpetrated by the Taliban.

- See more at: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/220865591/scat/c08dd24cec417021/ht/Threats-from-Taliban-fail-to-deter-Afghan-voters#sthash.yH2u1Dea.dpuf

KABUL: Over half of 12 million eligible Afghans have voted in the country's weekend election.

About 58 per cent cast a vote; well above the 4.5 million who voted at the last election in 2009, which was marred by widespread fraud.

While it will take time to tabulate all the votes, the final result will bring the first-ever democratic transfer of power to the troubled country.

In some areas, donkeys were needed to carry ballots and voting boxes across rough terrain to the country's most inaccessible areas.

The final result will eventually be declared in the race to succeed president Hamid Karzai who has seen out his terms as Afghanistan's president.

After twelve years in power, the constitution now bars Mr Karzai from seeking another term.

A massive security operation was launched to discourage the Taliban, who had made threats about spoiling the election.

While there were sporadic Taliban attacks, police managed to foil most of them.

However, police officers, soldiers, civilians and Taliban fighters were killed in some of the skirmishes.

Dozens died in a spate of attacks in the preceding weeks.

The war-ravaged country is now seeking a leader who can stem the violence that has been steadily rising.

While there are eight contenders for the nation's top job, the leading candidates in the race are Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdullah Abdullah and Zalmay Rassoul.

Ahmadzai is an American-trained anthropologist who has been back in Afghanistan since the Taliban were ousted. He has acted in the Karzai government as finance minister.

Abdullah is an anthropologist who belongs to the Northern Alliance. He is part-Pashtun and is known for being at the forefront of causes for the country's second-largest ethnic group, Afghan Tajiks.

Rassoul is a former foreign minister and one of Hamid Karzai's closest confidants; a statesman who has held roles in national security.

The outgoing Hamid Karzai spoke to the nation on TV on the weekend, saying: "On behalf of the people, I thank the security forces, election commission and people who exercised democracy and turned another page in the glorious history of Afghanistan."

World leaders have praised the election as historic, with United States president Barack Obama commending the Afghan people, security forces, and elections officials on the turnout for the vote.

The US has recently been trying to convince Mr Karzai to sign a bilateral security agreement that would permit about 8,000 US troops to remain in the country after the formal US withdrawal at the end of 2014.

There are fears that Taliban leaders could once again force their way into power through force.

Over the past thirteen years the lives of nearly 3,500 members of a US-led coalition of troops and many thousands more from Afghanistan's fledging security forces have been lost.

At least 16,000 civilians have been killed in the violence perpetrated by the Taliban.

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