Afghans protest problems with parliament elections

Several hundred people today took to the streets of Kabul to protest problems with September`s parliamentary poll, underscoring persistent concerns about the Afghan government`s ability to carry out elections.

Kabul: Several hundred people today took to
the streets of Kabul to protest problems with September`s
parliamentary poll, underscoring persistent concerns about the
Afghan government`s ability to carry out elections.

Preliminary results were announced last month but
final results have not yet been established. The country`s
Electoral Complaints Commission has discarded nearly a quarter
of ballots cast, citing fraud.

The decision sparked complaints that the body was
manipulating results to make sure favoured candidates won. A
number of candidates demanded investigations, which are still
ongoing.

There have been small, scattered protests since the
September 18 election, with Afghans claiming their votes were
not counted or protesting delays in naming the winners.

The vote was supposed to be a way for the government
to reaffirm its legitimacy after a badly flawed presidential
election last year.

Criticism over President Hamid Karzai`s severely
flawed re-election, damaged relations between the president
and his Western allies and the relationship has still not
recovered.

More than 300 Afghans took part in today`s
demonstration.

"This was selection, not election," said Siddiq
Mansoor Ansari, who ran in eastern Nangarhar province. He said
he had documented numerous instances of fraud before, during
and after the polls.

"We will continue our demonstrations all over the
country. We will block roads if they don`t listen to us," he
said.

Mohammed Daoud Sultanzoy, who ran in the southeastern
Ghazni province said Afghans want "laws of this country to be
upheld, not an election commission engineering an election to
their own end."

"Election laws and the constitution of this country
have been stepped on...if we don`t take care of this problem
Afghanistan will see a serious security problem," he said.

PTI

London: Samsung and Google have launched their version of a tablet computer designed to take on Apple`s iPad, the market leader.
Samsung`s Galaxy Tab has a seven-inch touchscreen, compared to iPad`s 9.7 inches, and runs on Google`s Android software.

"You really can put this into a jacket pocket," said a Samsung spokesman.

Users can download thousands of apps from Google`s online store, together with their contacts and diary from Google`s online services, reports the Daily Mail.

The new tablet is an advance on the technology included in Samsung`s popular Galaxy S smartphone. The company is also looking at the possibility of a larger 10-inch screen tablet.

Last month, Apple boss Steve Jobs launched an attack on rival tablet computers like Samsung`s Galaxy Tab.

Jobs said: "We think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA - Dead on Arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small, and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphan product."

Samsung has also developed several of its own apps for the Tab, including a newsreader and a film download service.

Swype software too is included, which allows text to be entered by swiping your finger over a keypad rather than hitting individual keys.

Although several other firms have launched rival gadgets running on Google software in recent weeks, many experts believe Samsung`s is the first to rival the iPad.

"Apple is well ahead in the market but the Samsung Tab is the first real competitor it has seen," said Anthony Cox, of industry analyst Juniper Research.

IANS

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