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Provincial Council Elections


Each of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces hosts a Provincial Council, which is directly elected by the voters of that province. According to the 2004 Constitution, the Provincial Council is mandated to “participate in attainment of the development objectives of the state and improvement of the affairs of the province.

Provincial Councils advise and work closely with the provincial administration, the head of which, the Governor, is appointed by the President. They are obliged to elect by majority, from amongst their own elected members, one person to represent the province in the Meshrano Jirga for a term of four years.

In 2005, 3,025 candidates, including 247 women, contested the elections for 420 Provincial Council seats.



The first Provincial Council elections were held simultaneously with National Assembly elections in September 2005. Provincial Council elections are held every four years by residents of the province. Like the Presidential and Wolesi Jirga elections, Provincial Councils are elected by fair, general, secret, direct elections.

The number of seats in a Provincial Council is determined by the province’s population. Each Provincial Council is composed of between 9 and 29 seats.

Fewer than 500,000 inhabitants 9 members
500,000 – 1,000,000 inhabitants 15 members
1,000,000 – 2,000,000 inhabitants 19 members
2,000,000 – 3,000,000 inhabitants 23 members
More than 3,000,000 inhabitants 29 members

At least one quarter of seats in each Provincial Council are reserved for female candidates. Women compete equally with men, but if not enough women win the top seats, the last seats in each Provincial Council will be allocated to female candidates to ensure that women hold the number of seats reserved for them by law.

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