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Editorial: Another election, another debacle

Elections in Afghanistan always present formidable challenges if it fails to produce widely accepted and credible results which did not so in the past two presidential elections that nothing was left for another civil war. Both the key candidates and the current President and the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation denied the result, and both claimed victory. Anyways, it has been passed on now and the fragile and fraudulent election’s results imposed on the Afghans. Surely, the weakness of state instantiations, the deteriorating security situation and fractured political scene, would definitely have its negative impact on fair, free and transparent elections. In all ways, elections were marred with widespread frauds. In most countries, elections are considered as a means of achieving a final solution to the challenges. The important point is that election is the main point and an accepted fact in other countries where they see it the final hearing. But it would be unwise to put it in Afghanistan in the same way. A number of groups are refusing to accept this fact. It doesn’t mean the ordinary Afghans are not willing to elect their President through votes, but the process is so fraudulent that they no longer trust the process. Indeed, after long years and the collapse of the Taliban regime, the Afghan masses have finally been able to use their rights to vote as a decisive logic to elect their new leader. No Afghans are against the voting process – this is one of the achievements in the last 20 years despite so many others. Since we are in the process of peacebuilding with the Taliban group, it is absolutely unnecessary to insist on premature election, though it is one of the options once the reconciliation process is completed. Election is indeed one of the key elements of the country’s political system, and any kind of government system must be formed with the people’s votes. But we should bear in mind that for election, we first need to resolve differences with the Taliban. Conducting early elections is not possible without their reintegration into Afghan society. At the moment, there is a need to convince the Taliban to shun violence and engage in meaningful talks. Such suggestion does not seem fit and the Taliban already claimed responsibility for a car bombing in Kabul that killed three members of Afghan security forces and injured 12 more, including civilians. This is not a good scenario, and it could turn worse if we fail to get a clear result from upcoming Turkey conference on the Afghan peace process.

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