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Sunday, August 01, 2004

90 Percent of Afghans Registered to Vote

August 1, 2004
About 90 percent of the Afghan electorate has registered to vote in October's landmark presidential election, the United Nations said Sunday, as it began winding down a registration effort marred by bloody attacks on election staff and voters.

According to the latest U.N. figures, 8.7 million of an estimated 9.8 million eligible voters have collected ID cards that will allow them to cast a ballot when polling begins Oct. 9 in Afghanistan's first-ever direct national vote.

The enthusiastic turnout is a relief for the world body, which has overcome misgivings about Afghanistan's readiness for elections under strong pressure from the United States. The vote had been delayed from June because of slow progress disarming warlords. A vote for Parliament was put off until next spring. FR Reprint.

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