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Editorial: Election conundrum

The Afghan election has always been so complicated and awkward. Starting from frauds to weak performances from the related officials has brought the credibility of the election at stuck. Despites almost three months from 28th September election, the result are still being debated and turnout was also very low. After collapse of the Taliban regime in 2001, the Afghans have practiced their fundamental rights of democracy to elect their leader through votes instead of weapons. But in 2019 election comparing to the past fourth time, voter’s turnout reached to its lowest point in the country’s democratic history. This has casted doubt whether the result could be seen as a comprehensive representation of the interests of the Afghan people. The big question is the low turnout and reason behind it as democracy remains the lone source of hope for the country. Likely, maybe the Afghan masses did not find good candidates to vote or they no more trust on Independent Election Commission that has twice failed to hold fair, free, and transparent election. 2018 parliamentary election was also a catastrophic. However the ongoing peace efforts to bring a political settlement to the Afghan conflict, is another key factor that could be behind low turnout. The Afghan people become fed up with the ongoing war that see no end in sights, thus they preferred peace over election. This would be a logical reason. Peace, indeed a dignity one, is more important than an election which is not acceptable. A majority of presidential candidates already boycotted election, warning of dangerous consequences if the result announced without their consensus. It indicates electoral deadlock, and also there is protest in different provinces against what they call fraud and corruption. The demonstrators mainly are the supporters of Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who repeats his demand of nullifying 300,000 votes which are not clean. They threatened to continue protests if their demands did not address. The election was meant to be the cleanest yet in Afghanistan’s young democracy, with a German firm supplying biometric machines that were supposed to stop people from voting more than once. But it failed to work. There are some votes casted out of time, and even two and three days before the Election Day. The ongoing indecision raises the possibility of repetition of 2014 presidential election crisis. It could much more hazard as no more foreign interference is acceptable. Last time US mediated, who will do this time as presidential candidates already rejected any sorts of power-sharing deal.

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