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New Year and Election; From Preparation to Political Confrontations

Describing all of these conflicts, election discourse is a dominant subject this year. Ata M. Noor said at the ceremony of introducing the new governor of Balkh that he will get the preparation for the upcoming elections.

We started the year 1397 (solar year) with death. At least 31 people killed and 65 wounded in the first day of the New Year in capital Kabul last week. Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) claimed the responsibility of the attack and Ashraf Ghani condemned the assault.
The parliament and district councils election is expected to be held this in Afghanistan. The presidency has promised to transparently hold parliamentary and district councils elections in the year 1397/2018.
The government is pushing to hold the presidential election in 2019 while critics of the government are calling for this election to run this year (2018).
The election commission has also recently vowed it is ready to hold the election in its determined time, although the exact date of the election has always changed in the commission’s timetable. The operational deputy to the election commission Wasima Badghisi said it is not possible to hold the parliamentary and district council election on 14 April 2018. According to her, lack of funds and widespread insecurity in the country, are the two major problems for the election commission and future elections.
Opposition movements and intellectuals circles do not believe in election commission and the presidency, saying current administration afraid of holding the election; because they know well that people will neither vote to Abdullah nor to Mr Ghani.

Describing all of these conflicts, election discourse is a dominant subject this year. Ata M. Noor said at the ceremony of introducing the new governor of Balkh that he will get the preparation for the upcoming elections. The other day, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar once again slashed House of Representatives as saying that a number of representatives came to the parliament through cheating in the election.

Last Friday, a political movement under the title of Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan, composed of mostly political elders from Pashtun, declared existence in capital Kabul. The senior political figures in the current political circle stressed on it will operate as an opposition to bring reforms, criticizing the current government’s practice. They will get the preparation for the upcoming election as well.

The members of this political movement – most of them are current members of the House of Representatives – are preparing to appear stronger in the upcoming elections. The newly formed political movement like all other political movements emphasize that the parliamentary, district councils and presidential elections should be held transparent. The activities of the political movements and figures in the past few years, indicates that preparations for the upcoming election are starting this year.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives entered the eight years of its work, which is operating illegal and without an election for three years.
The NUG may hold the parliamentary and district councils elections, but ARG has no preparation for the presidential election which is the only way for a peaceful power transition.
Both Mr Ghani and Abdullah insists on lack of security and funds as an excuse, in order not to hold a presidential election.

Several rounds of elections in the country have shown that it is difficult to hold elections and electoral teams hardly accepted the outcome of the election, and even it has even happened that accepting election results taken a period of one year.

On the other hand, lack of a national consensus in Afghanistan threatens the upcoming election although it has not been held yet. Parties, the government and the election commission do not yet agree on the exact date of the upcoming elections.
Another challenge is the distrust of the public opinion on the performance of the election commission. Some political circles believe election commission is not Independent.

The widespread fraud carried out in 2014 presidential election by the election commission, has destroyed the reputation of the commission among the people. Now, it is far possible if it wants to bring back its credit.

In the meantime, the United States and other supporters of Kabul that are introduced as guardians of democracy and election process in Afghanistan, has a prominent role on election results, and even play with the people’s votes as they pay the cost of the election. The proof of this claim could be the formation of a national unity government at the request of the White House; a government whose performance could nearly lead to ethnic conflicts.

Akhtar Suhail – (DID) news agency

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