Word on the street

By Norine MacDonald 6:40am A short update: Contacts in Mazar report rumours of a large demonstration in favour of Dr. Abduallah planned for tomorrow. Additionally there are reports of dramatically high numbers of Karzai votes coming out of Kandahar, despite that voter turnout was low. I note I am passing on unconfirmed information. Elections Commission having ...

By Norine MacDonald

6:40am A short update: Contacts in Mazar report rumours of a large demonstration in favour of Dr. Abduallah planned for tomorrow.

Additionally there are reports of dramatically high numbers of Karzai votes coming out of Kandahar, despite that voter turnout was low.

By Norine MacDonald

6:40am A short update: Contacts in Mazar report rumours of a large demonstration in favour of Dr. Abduallah planned for tomorrow.

Additionally there are reports of dramatically high numbers of Karzai votes coming out of Kandahar, despite that voter turnout was low.

I note I am passing on unconfirmed information. Elections Commission having a press conference just now.

5:54am From my conversations with our staff in the southern provinces voter turn out was indeed very low.

Despite not so many Taliban attacks yesterday the Taliban in the end managed to keep Afghans away from the polls.

This could be characterized as psychological and political success story for them — and unfortunately not a success story for the NATO/U.S. security initiative in the south, nor the international community’s attempt to convince Afghans to go out and vote.

As we noted before the election, how much of the Pashtun population will have been disenfranchised by the security situation, and how does that affect the perceived legitimacy of the voting?

Last "election" the alleged turnout was 70%…

3:12am Karzai’s campaign said on Tolo TV they have won the first round. Abdullah responded that he had received 61% of the vote.

On another interesting rumor is that Bashardost was Number 2 in Kabul polls.

Elections Commission has in fact not released any results.

From reports from our staff voter turnout in Helmand exceptionally low, but maybe overall ten percent of the polling stations actually didn’t open.

It’s interesting not how many Taliban attacks there were yesterday but how few compared to their threats.

It’s quiet today in Kabul so far — it’s Friday, and the first day of Ramadan which helps.

Norine MacDonald is the president and founder of the International Council On Security and Development.

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