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Editorial: Election credibility in doldrums

The Taliban group—who repeatedly rejected to shun violence, or sit in talks with Afghan fellows, may call Saturday’s Afghan election a foreign process, alike some candidates who have full doubts over transparency of the process, but a majority of the country’s young population is already used to democracy. Over 2.5 million an eligible 9.6 million voters turned out on Saturday, defying the Taliban threats as some 2,000 polling stations remained closed. The Independent Election Commission and election observers say the use of biometric machines in polling stations may mean that the votes that were submitted are more reliable than those in previous elections. But the problem, despite low turnout, is that the camps for the top rivals, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and President Ashraf Ghani, have both claimed victory, putting run-off not necessary even though official counting is still underway. A candidate needs more than 50 percent of votes to win outright, or a run-off will be held between the two tops. Ghani and Abdullah have shared power over the past five years in the so-called National Unity Government has been formed after a standoff in the wake of allegations of widespread fraud and corruption in 2014 polls. The same fear has been looming. In 2014, the two leaders made similar claims of victory and accused each other of fraud—a similar appearance at 2019. The then US Secretary of State John Kerry intervened that they reached a power sharing deal, but no more Kerry will work as Trump administration already says not to work for state building. What’s next for now, but to wait until final decision of electoral body. No one could expect what is waiting for already troubled Afghans if the result not accepted, and once again crisis to make its ugly shape. The final vote tally won’t come in until November seven. After that, an indecisive result will likely lead to a call for run-off elections between Abdullah and Ghani. The larger question is whether any outcome will be widely accepted. Even in the run-off there would be conspiracy theories that the ballots would be rigged again. The best choice, is to go for only biometric votes as it makes it harder to cheat, but not impossible, especially in the outlying areas. But still biometric-based-vote could safe Afghanistan. What is more important is that this process must be respected. Despite hundreds security incidents, thirteen election staff members have been kidnapped since Saturday by the Taliban, and 11 others were wounded on election day. The sacrifices rendered of the people –military – civic, must be respected and the election resulted must be accepted if democracy is to win in Afghanistan which itself is a great slap in the face of its divergent.

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