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Afghanistan starts parliamentary vote recount in 12 provinces

RIA Novosti

09:06 27/02/2011

KABUL, February 27 (RIA Novosti) - Election officials in Afghanistan have started recounting votes in 12 out of the country's 34 provinces for September 18, 2010 parliamentary elections over the allegations of electoral fraud, the local media reported on Sunday.

The recount was initiated by the Afghan special election tribunal after lots of complaints on electoral violations and irregularities were registered during the parliamentary elections last year.

The fraud took various forms, including ballot-stuffing as well as proxy and underage voting. There also were complaints on use of fake voter identification cards and interference by candidates and officials during voting and counting.

A total of 4.02 million people cast their ballots to elect the 249-seat Wolesi Jirga, the lower house of the country's parliament.

The elections were marred by Taliban attacks on voters and polling stations. At least 21 civilians and nine police officers were killed during the voting, according to the election commission.

Many of the polling stations were largely empty as two thirds of eligible voters stayed home because of the Taliban's intimidation.

However, Afghan officials said the attacks were not serious enough to derail the polls.

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