By Balqis Omaryar
KABUL - The voter turnout in Saturday's parliamentary elections was 50 percent lower than the 2004 ballot when 8.5 million people exercised their franchise right, an official said on Thursday.
About 4.5 million people took part in parliamentary polls, showing exactly a 50 percent decrease in the turnout, said Muhammad Fahim Hakim, who served as a member of the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) in last year's presidential poll.
"In the first presidential elections in 2004 and the parliamentary polls the same year, the total number of eligible voters was 12 million," he told Pajhwok Afghan News.
During the presidential elections, 70 percent people had voted, compared to 50 percent in the parliamentary ballot the same year, he explained.
In the 2009 presidential elections, only five million of 17.5 million eligible voters cast their ballots. "For the September 18 parliamentary elections, 11.4 million people were eligible to vote across the country, but only 4.5 million cast ballots," the official added.
A political and economic analyst, Abdul Sattar Sadat, linked the low turnout to the deteriorating security situation. He believed people had realised the fact candidates had lied to them during the previous elections and failed address their problems.