Parliamentary elections begin in Kandahar region of Afghanistan following recent violence

Parliamentary elections begin in Kandahar region of Afghanistan following recent violence

Following last week’s parliamentary elections, Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar region will go to the polls today. Originally scheduled to vote alongside

FILE PHOTO: People attend a burial ceremony of General Abdul Razeq, the Kandahar police commander, who was killed in an attack, in Kandahar province

Photo: Reuters/Ismail Sameem

Following last week’s parliamentary elections, Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar region will go to the polls today.

Originally scheduled to vote alongside the rest of the country, the polls in Kandahar were delayed after an attack killed four Afghan officials, including the country’s police chief, and wounded the US commander responsible for southern Afghanistan. The attack presaged further violence on election day, which saw 78 killed and 470 wounded in Taliban attacks.

Officials argue that they prevented even more bloodshed and that the number of recorded attacks was half that of 2014’s presidential election. However, the government’s next test will come with April’s presidential election, for which the stakes are higher—as are the security challenges.

The ever present security threat posed by the Taliban expose the failure of the 17-year intervention by the US and allied forces; indeed, two top US commanders have narrowly evaded death in recent times. Though this has not yet caused a substantial strategy shift in Washington, it demonstrates a lack of success in peace overtures to the Taliban. Without either successful peace talks or a military breakthrough, both the government in Kabul and the US mission look likely to trudge on through a violent status quo.

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