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Afghans flex voting rights; polls close with little violence

[JURIST] Afghans voted in their first parliamentary elections [JEMB factbox] in decades Sunday, without the significant violence feared by officials [JURIST report]. Anti-government Taliban fighters had agreed not to attack civilian voters, but warned people to stay away from areas where militants may attack security forces and foreign troops [BBC report]. In the last 6 months, militants have killed seven parliamentary candidates and four election workers, but the nation's 6,000 polling locations were heavily guarded by 40,000 Afghan police and foreign troops. Election results and turnout figures have not been released, but officials estimate that slightly fewer than the 8 million Afghans who voted in last October's presidential election turned out Sunday to elect members of the Wolesi Jirga (lower house of parliament) [Wikipedia backgrounder] and provincial councils. Results tallying will begin Tuesday and provisional results will be released when 20% of the votes are counted. Review a Afghanistan's electoral law [PDF] and other election-related regulations [JAMB materials] as translated into English. The Joint Electoral Management Body in Afghanistan [official website] has local election materials and coverage, including a rosy press release issued just before the polls closed. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan [official website] has posted a photo gallery of today's vote. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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