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RESPONSE TO TERROR

Ex-Taliban Official Wins Vote

November 29, 2001|Associated Press

HERAT, Afghanistan — In the first elections in this western Afghan city in more than 20 years, voters in Herat chose a former Taliban municipal official as mayor.

Mohammed Rafiq Mojaddadi, a diplomat in Iran in the 1980s and more recently a member of a Taliban-appointed Herat city council, was elected with 427 votes.

His nearest competitor, Abdullah Khozeni, received 60 votes.

The election was held less than a month after the Northern Alliance seized Herat from Taliban forces.

A 22-member election committee of the town's elders and professionals supervised the balloting--the first in Herat since the country's former king, Mohammad Zaher Shah, was overthrown in 1973.

Only 714 men, each representing a district of Herat, were granted the right to vote. Of those, 628 turned out at the main mosque for the election.

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