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93 per cent of parliamentary hopefuls running as independent

Monitoring Desk

KABUL: The absolute majority (93%) of the 2,495 candidates running in the upcoming Wolesi Jirga elections are independent while women make 16 percent of the runners.

The initial list of candidates the Independent Election Commission announced shows Kabul leads other provinces in fielding most of the candidates for each lower house seat and the least number of candidates comes from nomads.

The Wolesi Jirga and district council elections are scheduled for October 20. Except Ghazni province, candidate registration has been completed in all other provinces. No one could register as candidate in the election from Ghazni due to the close of the provincial IEC office by protestors.

From other provinces, 2,100 male and 393 female candidates, including nomads, from across the country are contesting on the lower house’s total 250 seats. The house has 68 seats for women and 10 for nomads.

The names of 141 nominees have been dropped from the initial list.

Shahla Farid, political science lecturer in Kabul University, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the nomination of nearly 2,500 people for 250 seats would confuse voters in finding their favorite candidates.

The initial list of candidates shows most of people have nominated for Wolesi Jirga elections from Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar and Kandahar provinces respectively and the least from Nimroz, Panjsher, Nuristan and Zabul provinces.

According to the election law, the entire country is a single constituency for nomads and for other people each province is an independent constituency. All 34 nomad nominees for the Wolesi Jirga elections have made their way to the initial list of candidates.

According to the list, 24 nomads including four women have nominated from Kabul, one man and a woman from Balkh, two from Kapisa, one each from Zabul, Parwan, Paktia, Paktika, Khost and Kandahar provinces.

Two of the nomad candidates are representing their political parties while the rest are independent.

According to the article 52 of the election law, the nomads’ seats are allocated to the candidates garnering the highest number of valid votes in the nomads’ electoral constituency.

The article says that three nomads’ seats are allocated to female candidates with the highest number of valid votes in the nomads’ electoral constituency.


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