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FEATURING KATHY KELLY – For only the second time since the fall of the Taliban government in Afghanistan 17 years ago, Afghans went to the polls for Parliamentary representation. Sunday’s election had to be extended by a day as violence marred voting. Even ahead of the elections, multiple attacks took place with scores of people killed, including high-level officials. In fact, parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held 3 years ago but have been repeatedly postponed due to violence.

All told, about 4 million Afghans voted, about half the eligible population – a remarkable feat given the threats of violence. The Parliamentary election was held just a few weeks after the 17th anniversary of the US war that began in 2001. The Afghanistan war remains the longest official US war in history. There are Presidential elections scheduled for next year.

For more information visit www.ourjourneytosmile.com.

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She has traveled to Afghanistan many times and worked closely with the Afghan Peace Volunteers.

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