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October 10, 2004

ROBERT TAGORDA HAS A ROUNDUP ON THE AFGHAN ELECTIONS, and notes a number of positive reports, including this one from the BBC reporters' blog:

It was a celebration today. There was a tremendous buzz of excitement at the polling stations.

I genuinely got the feeling that this was the people's opportunity and that's why in Kandahar the problem with the ink is being laughed out of town.

Good. Even Reuters agrees:

Afghan Polls Fair Despite Ink Fiasco -Monitors

There's also a positive report from ABC News:

The Taliban vowed to turn the Afghan election into a day of bloodshed, but the rebels mounted only a smattering of small-scale attacks on police and civilians and a larger clash that left many of their own dead.

After months of what proved to be empty threats, military commanders and ordinary Afghans said Sunday the vote was a serious setback for the holdouts of the hard-line Islamic regime that was driven from power by U.S. bombs almost three years ago for harboring Osama bin Laden.

"Yesterday was a big defeat for the Taliban and a huge defeat for al-Qaida," Lt. Gen. David Barno, the top American commander in Afghanistan, told The Associated Press. "It shows that the political process is overwhelming any influence they may have."

Voters also said the Taliban had been exposed as weak.

As I mentioned earlier, thing seem to have gone much better than the critics feared. This certainly sets a good precedent.

UPDATE: And here's more from the BBC:

Observers approve Afghan election

International observers have endorsed Afghanistan's first presidential election, rejecting opposition calls for a new poll amid reports of fraud. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said demands by 15 of the 18 presidential candidates to annul the poll were "unjustified".

The local Free and Fair Elections Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) said the poll was "fairly democratic".

Maybe the Afghans can send advisers to Palm Beach County!

Scroll down, or go here and here, for more, including photos from InstaPundit's Afghanistan photo-correspondent.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Interesting to compare these reports with this claim. (Via Ichiblog).

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