The provincial capital was besieged by the Taliban in August and security remains tenuous

As Afghans prepare for the much-delayed parliamentary elections, one province in Afghanistan will not be going to polls. The southern province of Ghazni, the provincial capital of which briefly fell to the Taliban in August this year, will not be polled on October 20.

“The elections won’t happen in Ghazni this week due to various complications,” said Mirza Mohammad Haqparast, the Deputy Spokesperson of the Independent Election Commission (IEC). “There were issues with security as well as voter registrations in many parts of the province.”

Ghazni has had a difficult year with a five-day long siege by the Taliban that resulted in many casualties, and collapse of a functioning government. In August residents of Ghazni found themselves cut off from the rest of the country as Afghan forces battled several hundred Taliban fighters to retake the provincial centre.

“We made a proposal to the national security office to look over the matter and took the decision to postpone the elections temporarily,” Mr Haqparast explained.

Despite the government regaining control of the province, the security situation in Ghazni remains volatile. “Just last week I was in Ghazni city, one kilometre from the governor’s office, but the whole night we were up because of constant fighting and bombing,” a local resident, who did not wish to be identified owing to the sensitive situation, told The National.

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