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Editorial: Crisis on the horizon

According to the Independent Election Commission (IEC), the two-month-long electoral campaign period for Saturday’s presidential election came to an end on Wednesday and until Saturday a silence period will be observed. The government assures of full preparation to conduct the polls. However, having been suspended for several times, the election faces many challenges before its way. This is while just days ahead of the democratic exercise, the government opposition and Afghanistan’s political elites, who recently held a gathering, said that it should be postponed. They alleged that the vote poses a serious threat to the process of peace negotiations, saying that peace should be given priority.

There is fear that conducting election in a country that is going through an uncertainty and the Taliban warned people against to vote, the polling stations might likely be triggered by Taliban attacks that not only undermine credibility of the election, but also many lives could be risked. It is not the time for election due to many challenges, insecurity, and fraud on its top. Meanwhile, the leader of Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) and presidential runner Gulbuddin Hekmatyar threatened and said he would stand against fraud and foreign meddling in the ballot. Do not make us regret going to the polls; do not force us to adopt other routes since we have such experience. He was implicitly and in a way signifying that in the event of disappointing election results, he would revert to adopting insurgency.

While the election hasn’t been carried out yet, the presidential runners and opposition through their remarks suggest that they beforehand know the polls would be fraud-tainted and unacceptable to them. Furthermore, according to influential figures and elites, peace takes precedence over the election. However, the problem is that such pessimistic views regarding election symbolize that a disorder is on the horizon. If the election results aren’t satisfactory to the opposition, it would most certainly give rise to imminent upheaval – something that we have experienced in the last presidential election. Such trouble might either plunge the country into further chaos or warrant foreign intervention to resolve it. Amid such apprehensions, all the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the government and electoral bodies to take preemptive measures, seek a solution and devise a back-up plan. They should make all-out efforts to prevent an impending crisis and make the election as transparent and fair as possible whereby they could satisfy the nation and politico.

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