World Bulletin/News Desk
After an exhausting delay of more than six months, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission, also known as the IEC, finally managed to compile and declare the much awaited final results for the country’s 34 provincial assemblies on Saturday.
Voting for provincial councils was held alongside the first round of Presidential Elections in April which -- to the surprise of many observers -- attracted scores of Afghans to vote, defying the threats of militants and thundering rain in their capital, Kabul.
IEC Chairman, Ahmad Yousaf Nuristani, unveiled the outcome at a news conference in Kabul.
He declared that 458 candidates, including 97 women, had found their way to provincial council seats and linked the delay in announcing the results to technical problems, including a mechanism for vote invalidation.
However, many believe the prolonged wrangling following the Presidential Elections left its marks on the fate of the provincial councils’ contenders.
Nuristani said that as many as 2,600 candidates, including 308 women, contested the provincial council elections that were held on April 5.
Syeda Masouda Yari, a female candidate from Kabul, topped the list of female contenders in a male-dominated Afghan society.
Interestingly, she garnered more votes than any other contender in the capital.
Following the preliminary election results in May, Yari told the Anadolu Agency that she would strive for women’s rights not just in the capital, where women tend to have more rights anyway, but in the far away and mountainous corners of the country.
“Society has developed more trust and confidence in women now and have realized that since women make up half of the society, they too are able to serve better in the fields of politics, economics, society and culture. My victory reflects that confidence by the people in women,” she said.
Meanwhile, the three women poised to take seats on the Kabul provincial council are Masooda Yari, Khatera Ishaqzai and Zuhra Nawabi.
There are 458 available provincial council seats across the country, 96 of which, or 20 percent, are reserved for women.
Announcing the results, the IEC Chief hoped the winners would show determination in their tasks and serve their voters according to the promises made to them.
Provincial assemblies in Afghanistan are considered more as a symbolic institution among the other legislative branches, which have fewer powers than the provincial governors nominated by the President himself.
Last Mod: 25 Ekim 2014, 17:45