2010 Elections 1: Facts and Figures
With less than a week left before 18 September, we would like to summarize the major facts and figures that relate to the upcoming parliamentary election.
The total number of candidates standing in this yearâ€™s election is 2502.
The number of candidates whose names appeared on the 34 final provincial candidates list (plus one for the kuchis) released on 22 June originally amounted to 2577 (2171 of them men and 406 women). In the parliamentary elections 2005, there were 2707 candidates (2379 men and 328 women). Womenâ€™s presence has significantly increased in some provinces like Ghor (12 out of a total of 38 candidates) and Kapisa (10/37).
The candidates compete for 249 seats (68 reserved for women) in the lower house of the Afghan parliament, the Wolesi Jirga.
Out of the 249 MPs elected in 2005, 10 have been killed during the legislative period and (at least) 15 other MPs do not run again (*). All other sitting MPs are standing as candidates again (they likely number 223, for one, Zaher Masrur from Balkh province, has been vetted out).
The still ongoing vetting process of candidates carried out by Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) has until now brought the following exclusions:
– 31 candidates were accused of links with illegal armed groups;
– 40 candidates were excluded for the failure to resign in time from civil service official positions (in four batches of 8, 10, 14 and again 8 candidates)
Three candidates (in Ghazni, Khost and Herat provinces) were killed due to insurgent activity or personal and political rivalries, while three more (in Ghazni, Herat and Takhar) suffered serious injuries, one of them during an international troops airstrike.
Several more candidates were victims of failed attempts on their lives (in Faryab, Khost, Ghor, Parwan and Laghman), two more (in Herat and Badakhshan) were kidnapped and afterwards released.
One candidate from Kandahar province recently withdrew his candidacy complaining of a lack of security.
This reduced the candidatesâ€™ number to the 2502 given above.
Almost all of the candidates run as â€˜independentsâ€™, only 31 officially give a party affiliation (more details on this subject in an upcoming blog).
27 out of 34 provinces experienced a decrease in the number of candidates as a result of the vetting process (the original total appearing in the final lists is put in brackets):
Kabul: 13 (663)
Parwan: 7 (58)
Helmand: 5 (53)
Khost: 4 (59)
Farah: 3 (34)
Baghlan: 3 (118)
Badakhshan: 3 (95)
Balkh: 3 (82)
Herat: 3 (153)
Daikundi: 3 (33)
Ghor: 2 (39)
Jowzjan: 2 (46)
Kapisa: 2 (38)
Nangarhar: 2 (160)
Nuristan: 2 (20)
Nimruz: 2 (13)
Ghazni: 2 (83)
Paktia: 2 (58)
Kunduz: 2 (87)
Takhar: 2 (93)
Zabul: 2 (16)
Badghis: 1 (40)
Logar: 1 (40)
Laghman: 1 (59)
Faryab: 1 (93)
Sar-e Pul: 1 (45)
Kandahar: 1 (50)
Bamian : 0 (43)
Kunar: 0 (27)
Paktika: 0 (22)
Panjshir: 0 (12)
Samangan: 0 (37)
Uruzgan: 0 (19)
Wardak: 0 (37)
Kuchi: 0 (52)
The registration of new voters by the IEC concluded on 12 August. Altogether 376,081 voters (207,014 men, 152,147 women, plus 16,720 kuchi for whom gender breakdown has not been given) were newly registered. This brought the figure of distributed voter cards to 17.4 million. The IEC, however, gave 12,581,000 as the number of (estimated) eligible voters.
The originally foreseen number of polling centres (PC) was 6835, but the number ofÂ those declared to be open by the IEC on 18 August is 5897. This is a clear decrease from last yearâ€™s presidential and provincial council elections (PCs were 6580 then).
Subsequently, the IEC turned down an offer from the Ministry of Defence to provide security for the opening of further 91 PCs in some provinces (particularly in Kandahar, Helmand, Badghis and Faryab), and instead further reduced the existing number: 81 PCs out of the 458 scheduled for Nangarhar province were declared to stay closed, reducing the total to 5816. Announced numbers of polling stations have been reduced from 27,065 (last year) to 18,762.
(*) List of killed MPs:
Seyyed Mustafa Kazemi (Kabul)
Muhammad Aref Zarif (Kabul)
Nazuk Mir Sarfaraz (Kunduz)
Saheb-ur-Rahman Hemmat (Kunar)
Engineer Abdul Matin (Helmand)
Mawlawi Muhammad Islam Muhammadi (Samangan)
Sebghatullah Zaki (Takhar)
Fazl ur-Rahman Chamkanai (Paktia)
Haji Habibullah Khan (Kandahar)
Dad Muhammad Khan (Helmand)
List of MPs not running again (possiblyÂ incomplete):
Ustad Burhanuddin Rabbani (Badakhshan)
Sultan Muhammad Awrang (Badakhshan)
General Hilaluddin Hilal (Baghlan)
Habibullah Ramin (Baghlan)
Najiba Sharif (Kabul)
Sabrina Saqeb (Kabul)
Taj Muhammad Mujahed (Kabul)
Aref Nurzai (Kandahar)
Ahmad Shah Achakzai (Kandahar)
Mawlawi Ataullah Ludin (Nangarhar)
Gharghashta Katawazai Suleimankhel (Paktika)
Sona Nilufar (Uruzgan)
Piram Qul Ziahi (Takhar)
Faizullah Zaki (Jowzjan)
Malalai Joya (Farah)
Maulawi Hanif Shah al-Hussaini (Khost)