News analysis

Afghans head to the polls amid scant sign of economic progress

Despite buzz over elections, controversial voting procedures, Taleban pose challenges

All arrangements are in place for today's parliamentary elections in Afghanistan. And there is little doubt that even holding the vote is already an achievement; in a country which has been at war for decades, no fewer than 2,500 candidates - of whom a record 418 are women - are competing for the 249 seats in Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament.

So regardless of the challenges facing the country, a lack of electoral choice is not Afghanistan's main problem.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2018, with the headline 'Afghans head to the polls amid scant sign of economic progress'. Print Edition | Subscribe