Afghanistan Presidential Elections
The Afghans Presidential election were held on 28th of September 2019. Despite serious security challenges and threats, Afghan security forces were able to provide a relative security to hold the elections, which fortunately had fewer casualties than expected. Nevertheless, a considerable number of our innocent people and security personnel were martyred and wounded. Participation of the people during the voting period was considerably low, resulting in exceptionally low number of votes, which was likely to be around 1.5 million votes according to the recent news reports by Tolo News and TIFA. Moreover, late reports from the Elections Commission which disclosed results from 2,597 polling stations, almost more than half of the 4,500 polling stations around the country, announced 1,051,800 votes overall, inclusive of 400k votes from province of Kabul. Hence, it concludes that upon completion of all votes from the remaining provinces, it is not likely for the actual votes to exceed 1.7 million. Despite the dangers, there is no doubt that Afghans have demonstrated their commitment to democracy in the best way. However, with their low level of participation in the election, Afghans had one clear message, where they altered the elections to a referendum of dissatisfaction with Ghani and Abdullah and the current status quo. The Afghans have made it clear that the continuance of this state and prolongation of Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah is unacceptable to them and are against the extension of this situation. The low level of participation in the elections has placed it in a legitimate crisis where the reasons are as follows:
- Essentially, in this election, the competition was among four leading candidates, whom were, Ghani, Abdullah, Hekmatyar and Nabil.
- Assuming 1.7 million votes, we will have 300k votes for Hekmatyar, 150k votes for Nabil and the remaining 1,250,000 votes split among Ghani and Abdullah.
- The competition between Ghani and Abdullah was close , approx more or less 600k votes for one and 650k for the other.
- Assuming Ghani or Abdullah as the elected president of Afghanistan with only 650k votes, which clearly represents only 2% of the Afghan population.
– Would it be fair for one to declare himself in this way as the representative of the afghan people?
– Would this mandate be able to strength-fully negotiate with regards to peace with the Taliban?
– Would this mandate be able to persuade the public and the international community?
– Would we be able to claim that we can have a strong government in Afghanistan?
– Is this really the 50 + 1 voting?
– Perhaps if elections go to round 2, would the situation be any better?
– Finally, was it necessary to spend 130 million dollars which came from the pockets of the poor Afghans and foreign tax payers for such an election?
It is clear that the answer to all these questions is a NO. On the other hand, there is a definite possibility of fraud prior to the elections by both leading candidates, Ghani and Abdullah, and prior to the elections by filling of ballot boxes or through a biometric server or through the manipulation of numbers, where in this case, the situation would be far worse than imagined. Hence, in such a case, no party would accept the outcome which will eventually lead to a serious confrontation among different parties, leading the future of the country to danger and ultimately to a civil war. This will initiate severe regional instability, where its effects will undoubtedly touch the world.
So, considering the very fragile and warlike situation in Afghanistan, the challenges ahead and the situation in the region, we can conclude that the outcome of this election will be nagative for democracy and for Afghans and will add to their problems in the future. It would then lead Afghanistan into an uncontrollable crisis. On the other hand, formation of such a weak government would be a betrayal to the people of Afghanistan and be a reason to place the international community in a challenging position. Therefore, before it’s too late, it is best to find a genuine solution and seek a reasonable solution.
At the earliest time, an unbiased candidate with a reputable name and acceptable to all parties including the Taliban and the domestic politicians should be appointed as the head of the Interim Government while all other ministries and institutions continue to operate normally.
• The head of the interim administration will appoint an authorized, strong and competent team which will participate during the Intra-Afghan Dialogue with the Taliban.
• With the commencement of the Intra-Afghan dialogue, the head of the interim government will announce a national ceasefire.
• A peace agreement will be signed – (between US and the Taliban in the presence of representatives of regional countries, and Peace Agreement guarantors) simultaneously as the Intra-Afghan dialogue takes place.
• As a result of the Intra-Afghan Dialogue, the head of interim administration will announce the implementation of the peace process and the conclusion of the Intra-Afghan negotiations.