GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Provincial authorities in southeastern Paktia province say the presidential ballot was conducted in a transparent manner in the province and people cast their votes fearlessly.
During a press conference, the officials called good security measures and preparation for the elections as reason behind the smooth ballot.
Governor Shamim Khan Katawazi said thousands of people cast their votes in Saturday’s presidential ballot despite many security threats from militants.
“Fortunately, a great election was conducted in Paktia. The people of the province showed their bravery and security forces really proved they could maintain the security of people and the ballot.”
Katawazi called the Saturday’s ballot as transparent and emphasized that public servants who interfered in the election would be punished.
“The law is obvious; complaints that are filed with Independent Election Commission (IECC) will be acted upon.”
Naqibullah Haidari, IEC head for Paktia, said according to initial information, about 163,323 votes were cast in Paktia which most of them sent to the central office in Kabul via online system.
Haidar added more than 400,000 people had registered as voters but the number reduced due to security threats and some other issues.
“No polling station changed its place, the central office had told us if someone wanted to move the polling station, it should be informed, but we received no demand to shift any polling station,” he added.
Police chief Mohammad UsmanJanbaz said that at least 18 civilians and security personnel suffered casualties as a result of Taliban attacks on the election day.
He said at least 30 insurgents were also killed and wounded in retaliatory raids.
“Joint security forces through a proper plan provided secure and peaceful environment for election. At least 11 attacks took place on the voting day. We defused 20 landmines, prevented four explosions, so we provided best security and did not allow the enemy to disrupt the national process,” he informed.

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