Afghan Elections Postponed; Female Election Worker Killed

The first post-Taliban elections that were scheduled to take place in September have been delayed due to slow voter registration and insecurity created by Taliban-like militia and so-called warlords. According to the Associated Press, Afghan officials have said that they are looking at the end of September or October to hold the elections, though no date has been set. The Afghan Ambassador to the United States, Said Tayeb Jawad, stated he is “hoping to be able to have both elections on time as scheduled. But if there will be any delays, that delay will most likely affect the parliamentary election,” reports Voice of America.

This is the second time the elections have been delayed in Afghanistan. The elections were originally set to take place in June. According to Voice of America, over 20 Afghan and three foreign election workers have been killed during the current voter registration process. Another school being used to register voters near Kandahar was attacked by over thirty Taliban fighters earlier this week, reports the Pakistan Tribune and earlier today a female Afghan worker registering voters for the election was killed when her car hit a landmine in Eastern Afghanistan, reports Reuters. In June, three other female election workers were killed when Taliban fighters attacked their bus with a bomb.

Meanwhile, the US Army News Service has reported that women make up fifty percent of the registered voters in the central highland region of Afghanistan. However, in areas where the militants are most active, such as the southern and eastern parts of the country, women are registering in very low numbers. Afghan women make up approximately only one-third of those registered to vote.

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Feminist Daily News 6/28/04; Reuters 7/8/04; Voice of America 7/7/04; Army News Service 7/7/04; Associated Press 7/1/04

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