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Election in Afghanistan

Election in Afghanistan

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Published by Om Prakash Yadav
ELECTION IN AFGHANISTAN IS LAST HOPE FOR THIS WAR RAVAGED COUNTRY. ESTABLISHMENT OF A POPULAR GOVERNMENT WOULD USER IN A NEW ERA OF HOPE AND PROSPERITY
ELECTION IN AFGHANISTAN IS LAST HOPE FOR THIS WAR RAVAGED COUNTRY. ESTABLISHMENT OF A POPULAR GOVERNMENT WOULD USER IN A NEW ERA OF HOPE AND PROSPERITY

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Published by: Om Prakash Yadav on Aug 19, 2009
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02/06/2013

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ELECTION IN AFGHANISTAN;HOPE FOR WORLD
OM PRAKASH YADAV 
 The war ravaged and terror infested countryAfghanistan will go to polls on 20
th
August, 2009 toelect its President and members of ProvincialAssemblies. According to Constitution of Afghanistanwhich was enacted and adopted on 4
th
January, 2004,only an afghan, born out of an afghan parent canparticipate and become President of this country. The future of this country and prestige of NATO,especially the USA and the UK is involved in thiselection, which is going to be a major challenge forthem in view of threats of disruption and violence givenby Taliban. The poll will be held on 20
th
August, 2009 between 7:00hrs to 16:00 hrs of the local time and results would bedeclared on 17
th
September, 2009 if the winningcandidate secures at least 50% of the votes polledwhich is mandatory as per Article 61 of theConstitution. There are 17 million out of an estimated 30 millionAfghans registered to vote in 7000 polling stationsspread across the country in all 34 provinces.41 candidates are fighting for the presidency, whereasas many as 3000 candidates are in fray for 420 seats in34 provinces.
1.
Security situation and elections- the
securitysituation in the war ravaged country is far from
 
satisfactory. NATO headquarter was stormed on theeve of elections leaving some soldiers and civiliandead. Presidential Palace has also been hit byrockets. Out of 34 provinces, Karzai’s governmenthas control over only a very few. Someindependent sources suggest that the writs of thegovt do not run outside the Kabul. Provinces likeKandahar, Nimruz, Daykundi, Herat, Nurestan, Gor,Ghazni Orunzgan Panjshir etc are virtually notunder the control of the government and the writsof Taliban is the final decree. The Taliban hasissued warnings on loudspeakers openly in publicplaces and mosques that any body found withindelible ink on his/her thumb, their hands wouldbe chopped off. Such warnings cannot be ignoredin Afghanistan and nobody will like his handschopped off. This does not mean however thatnobody will come out and cast vote, after all howcould so many candidates including some womendared to file nominations despite Taliban’sopposition.
2.
Prospects of peaceful, free and fair election-
Article 156 of Constitution of Afghanistan providesfor establishment of an Independent ElectionCommission to conduct election. In pursuance of it,Election Commission has also been constituted, butto what extent a free, fair and peaceful election itwould be able to conduct, is yet to be seen.Azizollah Ludin, the head of Election Commission,has complained about calibre of some candidates.He has alleged that his recommendations withrespect to change in certain election rules have not
 
been enacted by Parliament and the governmenthas not taken note of it. The main contestingcandidates in the presidential fray are the sittingPresident Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, andformer finance minister Asraf Ghani. There areabout 350 women candidates in the fray forProvincial council polls. Women candidates are alsoin the fray for presidential seat. Frozen Fana andShahla Atta are most important among them.
 
As far as peaceful elections are concerned, thechances are bleak. The rocket attack onPresidential palace and suicidal attacks on defenceand police establishments, well in the heart of Kabul, the fortified city, suggest that all is not wellin this country. In the mean time some rightsgroups like Human Rights watch (HRW) haveexpressed apprehension on elections inAfghanistan. The return of ex -war lord AbdulRashid Dostum just on the eve of elections haveraised eyebrows of many who believe that Karzaimight use his clout in his favour.In the meantime reports are coming in that largenumbers of voter’s ID cards are being sold formoney and therefore rigging and bogus voting maytake place. This matter has been brought to thenotice of the Election commission and the officialsconnected to it has assured of taking someremedial measures for this also. It remains to beseen that in what manner elections are conductedin remote rural areas of the country wherecommunication and other administrativeinfrastructure are far from satisfaction.

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