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  Monday, October 21, 2019
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Afghanistan's Central Election Commission (CEC) began on Saturday registering presidential candidates
Afghanistan's Central Election Commission (CEC) began on Saturday registering presidential candidates and members of provincial councils to take part in upcoming elections in the country.

According to Afghan's Constitution, elections should have been held in April of this year. However, polls were put off until August 20 due to concerns over funding and security, as well as technical complications.

The registration procedure will run until May 8. The CEC said that some 46 presidential hopefuls and over 500 candidates for provincial councils had approached the commission for advice prior to registration.

Incumbent President Hamid Karzai's term of office ends on May 21. Elected in 2004, Karzai's popularity has fallen over his failure to tackle violence and corruption. He has however expressed a desire to run for a second five-year term.

The upcoming elections could be threatened by Taliban attacks in Afghanistan's southern provinces during the elections, especially in the Helmand Province, where much of the fighting between NATO and Taliban forces has taken place.

Another problem is the lack of registered voters in the country, which according to various sources comprises 4.5- 9.5 million.

In addition, no one actually knows how many Afghans live in or outside the impoverished country. If less than 50% of those Afghans living there vote, then the polls could be declared invalid.

According to the United Nations, Afghanistan's population today comprises 25-27 million people. The last attempt to hold a census was in 1979. Another attempt at a census, sponsored by Japan, also ended in failure in the summer of 2008 because of instability in the country.


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