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Editorial: Political system

Since establishment of the National Unity Government (NUG) in Afghanistan, there is an unending debate on political systems. Public opinion makers, jurists, analysts and legislators have been discussing different political systems that could meet needs of the country and people. Most of such debates and study reports end without broad-based consensus. Obliviously, there will no consensus because we do not go deep to find the root cause of a problem and offer a solution which could be acceptable to local population. Imposing a system on Afghans that is designed and practiced by people hundreds of miles away will definitely collapse.

Afghans could not be blamed for demise of such systems. When they are not asked at the time of formation a fragile government or introducing an unacceptable political system then why to blame them? Blame it on those who impose the idea of a minority on the majority. Therefore, aspirations of public should be kept in view when introducing a political system. Change shall be gradual and acceptable to citizens of the country. Otherwise, neither the presidential nor the parliamentary form of government will help the country and its nationals. Political or administrative diseases could not be treated with amendments in the Constitution because the sacred doctrine has been repeatedly violated by the influential folks.

A study report conducted by the Afghan Institute of Strategic Studies suggested change in the political system and amendments in the Constitution. The study carried in 10 provinces also suggests accountability of the high-ranking officials, merit-based appointments in the government departments, representation of all social groups in the system, and change in form of government. A staggering 51 percent of the respondents suggested a combination of chancellery and parliamentary system. Almost all respondents agree that the president’s authorities should be reduced. The study reveals growing public hatred against the presidential system.

However, the basic point that is ignored in most of the studies that consciously or subconsciously people have lost trust over democracy. If a survey was carried out regarding performance of the parliament, majority of respondents will criticize the Wolesi Jirga and Meshrano Jirga. When decision of the voters and aspirations of citizens are not respected, we cannot convince people to support the very system which had rejected them. Growing trust deficit between public and the state institutions has created severe political challenges. In a nutshell, the problem lies in individuals who run the state affairs, not in the political system. If five political systems were introduced in five years, this will not help the country unless public concerns were addressed sincerely.

Therefore, we shall accept the shortfalls and mistakes to reform ourselves rather than emphasizing on system change. Mere change on papers will do no good. Thus, words shall be translated into actions.

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