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UN praises election authorities in Afghanistan

world Updated: Jul 28, 2009 16:46 IST

PTI
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The United Nations praised the election authorities in Afghanistan on Tuesday for being successful in keeping the presidential election on track, even though the country is marred with violence.

Some 17 million ballot papers and nearly 100,000 ballot boxes have been safely and securely delivered across the country, with full credit going to the Independent Election Commission, Aleem Siddique, spokesperson for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, told a press conference in Kabul.

"Meanwhile, we have seen candidates campaigning across the country, this is encouraging," Siddique said, adding that voters "deserve a choice of not only who will lead the country but where they will lead them and Afghanistan."

More than 40 presidential candidates, including two women, are running for the nation's top post while over 3,000 Afghans are competing for provincial council seats on the August 20 polls.

Siddique urged Afghans to pay careful attention to each candidate's platform and to refuse any attempt to subvert their democratic will, encouraging them to report attempts to defraud the election to the authorities, who will deploy thousands international and national election observers to monitor conduct at the polls.

"Who you vote for is between you and your ballot paper, no one else will know who you voted for," he said, adding "vote for your country, vote for your family."