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Afghans hail peaceful election, high turnout predicted

Published on Apr 6, 2014 1:30 AM
 

KABUL (AFP) - Afghans celebrated a largely peaceful election on Saturday, as turnout exceeded predictions despite Taliban threats to disrupt the vote to choose President Hamid Karzai's successor.

Long queues of voters waited throughout the day outside many of the 6,400 polling centres before the prolonged process of counting began, with preliminary results not due until April 24.

Whoever emerges victorious must lead the fight against the Taliban without the help of US-led combat troops, and also strengthen an economy that currently relies on declining aid money.

The country faces a testing few months as it undergoes its first democratic transfer of power, and many Afghans fear a repeat of the fraud scandals that marred the last presidential election in 2009.

An Afghan policeman tries to keep order as voters wait in line outside a polling station inBamiyan on April 5, 2014. Afghan voters went to the polls to choose a successor to President Hamid Karzai, braving Taliban threats in a landmark election held as US-led forces wind down their long intervention in the country. Afghanistan's third presidential election brings an end to 13 years of rule by Karzai, who has held power since the Taliban were ousted in a US-led invasion in 2001, and will be the first democratic handover of power in the country's turbulent history. -- PHOTO: AFP
 
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