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Afghan ballot papers are a buffet of symbols

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April 02, 2014 02:47


Parachute or laptop computer? Sunrise or binoculars? Five days before polling, Afghan voters are spoilt for choice as they prepare to make their selection from an odd array of candidates symbols.

The designs help illiterate voters differentiate between hundreds of contenders standing in presidential and provincial council elections on April 5, a decade after the first polls of the countrys post-Taliban era. Ballot papers have options ranging from the humble kettle and the sacred prayer mat to an office chair, a fearsome lion, an elegant butterfly and an unexpected basketball net.

Other eye-catching designs include paint brushes, naan bread, a calculator, a ladder, parrots, a pencil sharpener and, in land-locked Afghanistan, a sailboat in full rig.

The symbols are decided through a mixture of candidate preferences and allocation by the Independent Election Commission (IEC), which is organising the vote.

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