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Increased turnout in runoff predicted in Helmand

Increased turnout in runoff predicted in Helmand

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Apr 27, 2014 - 17:21

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Officials in southern Helmand province on Sunday hoped more people would turn out to cast their votes in a second round election than the first round, when elaborate security arrangements had been put in place for their protection.

Deputy governor Ahmad Massoud Bakhtwar told a meeting of security officials in Lashkargah that efforts would be made not to repeat mistakes occurred on April 5.

He did not specifically mention the shortcomings, but a shortage of ballot papers, fraud and security incidents in some areas had occurred in Helmand on the Election Day.

Police chief Brig. Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoy said the capacity and experience of police increased with each passing day.

He said the people would throng polling stations with increased enthusiasm in the runoff because previously they feared possible attacks, which did not happen.

The police chief said the people knew Afghan security forces had the ability to provide them security, an understanding that would lead to an increased turnout.

Independent Election Commission head for Helmand Qudratullah Naqshbandi said they were ready for a runoff election and had all required resources in this regard.

Of 219 polling centres in Helmand, 147 were open on the election day, when nearly 6000 observers oversaw the voting process.

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