Afghanistan launched registration of candidates for delayed parliamentary elections

Vastavam web: Afghanistan launched the registration of candidates for parliamentary and district elections on Saturday, taking another step towards a long-delayed ballot that has been threatened by deadly attacks on voter registration centres.Gula Jan Badi Sayad, head of the Independent Election Commission, told a news conference registration would be open for the next 12 days. Hundreds of candidates are expected to come forward.

As well as giving the assembly a legal mandate to sit, they are seen as a dry run for a presidential election expected in 2019.About 60 people were killed last month when a suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in the capital Kabul and there have been a string of smaller incidents elsewhere.Sayad said on Saturday that some 3.2 million people had registered to vote so far, still well short of the potential electorate of 14 million but exceeding some forecasts that the violence would halt the registration process entirely.