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Last Updated: Monday, 19 September 2005, 10:18 GMT 11:18 UK
Press pride on Afghan historic day
Afghanistan Parliamentary Elections
Voters had a choice of almost 6,000 candidates

Papers in Afghanistan reflect a sense of achievement following what most see as a successful completion of the country's first parliamentary election in over 30 years.

While there are concerns over shortcomings - such as a drop in turnout and possible fraud - there is praise for the security forces in thwarting attempts by the opposition to derail the process.

There is also recognition for the Afghan women brave enough to come to the polling stations and vote.

Arman-e Melli (independent daily)

The elections were held without any serious problem in a rather peaceful atmosphere and opened a new chapter in the history of our country... But the lack of interest and low turnout can be considered one shortcoming. The fact that the ink used in some polling stations could be easily removed is another that has raised concerns about the possibility of fraud... But despite all this, 18 September will be recorded as a memorable day in the history of Afghanistan.

Cheragh (independent daily):

Congratulations to the Muslim people of Afghanistan on their wholehearted and confident participation in the elections...The brave women of Afghanistan, along with men, celebrated the elections as a national festival and overcame another political challenge in their country... There were some cases of the abuse of power by candidates trying to put pressure on people, but our people filed complaints against them.

Rah-e Nejat (independent daily)

Although the enemies of the government threatened to sabotage the election process, on the whole security was satisfactory... Some shortcomings were also observed at the polling stations... People with two or three voting cards were able to vote twice or three times... The turnout was lower compared to the presidential polls which shows that people are disillusioned, because at the presidential election candidates made pledges that were empty promises.

Erada (independent daily):

The people's participation showed they have the capability to determine their fate with very little political awareness, and to foil the plots of their Afghan and foreign enemies. The huge turnout of brave Afghan women in the elections proves they have a feeling of responsibility for national issues... The enemies of Afghanistan could not even disrupt the elections in very remote areas. We therefore thank the Afghan and foreign security forces for their effective role in ensuring security.

Hewad (state-run daily)

The process of parliamentary and provincial council election was successfully completed... The people were not impressed by the propaganda threats made by the enemies of peace and stability. They came out of their houses with a strong determination to take part...There is no doubt that 18 September will be remembered as a day of great success and achievement for democracy in the history of the nation.

Anis (state-run daily)

The main issue of concern was security challenge during elections, but the 100,000 Afghan and foreign troops overcome this challenge. There were some cases of explosions and rocket attacks, but none of them could disrupt the elections. Even though the public turnout was high, it was not as high as during the presidential election, and the reason could be that some candidates who should have been disqualified were allowed to take part.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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