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Afghanistan: UN reports new voter registration sites expected to increase quickly

13 May 2004 Only 340 of the 4,000 anticipated sites for the second stage of registration for Afghanistan's general elections in September are now operating "but they are expanding geometrically," the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said today.

"Ten days ago we had a little bit over 100 - now some 10 days later we have close to 400. So that's the idea of Phase 2 - these registration sites will expand," UNAMA spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told a news briefing in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

In the first phase of registration, which began last December and was confined to eight mainly urban centres, such as Kabul and Kandahar, some 2 million people registered, about 30 per cent of them women.

Mr. de Almeida e Silva also lowered the estimate of total potential voters from about 10.5 million to "9 million or so," based on numbers provided by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which is conducting a pre-census household listing throughout the country.

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