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Editorial: Systematic electoral fraud looming

Distrust of electoral institutions haunts Afghanistan’s prospects of inclusive and credible parliamentary and district council elections as Afghanistan will be holding a landmark election this year. In a bid to restore public trust and confidences in the democratic process, the government confined only with replacement of some electoral commissioners, which is not enough at all. Fundamental reform has not made in Independent Election Commission following 2014 presidential election that marred with mass scale of fraud, triggering country into crisis. The government was too busy in other issues that totally brushed aside electoral problems and now there is no expectation but to have another election full of fraud. While 40 days are left for a complicated Wolesi Jirga and council districts election, criticism over electoral commission’s independence and efforts to orchestrate systematic ragging elections, is still highly persist. Grand National Coalition of Afghanistan said government has submitted a list of 400 candidates to IEC to announce 200 of them as winners who supporting government. Leaders of different political parties said the government is busy in orchestrating fraudulent elections while militants conducting vast attacks against security forces and gaining more grounds. Taliban insurgents launched separate attacks on Afghan security forces in the country’s north, killing at least 52. This is one day’s casualty figures with fears to rise. Instead of engagement in systematic elections fraud, the government should focus in maintaining security. Better security environment is crucial for flowing of Afghans the polling stations. Sans security neither inclusive elections possible nor Afghans would be able to cast vote to their favorite candidates. It would be a meaningless process and not acceptable to Afghan masses at all. This will also have dangerous pitfalls. According to political parties, the forthcoming elections will be inundated with rigging as many counterfeited Tazkiras and voting stickers have already been distributed. A vote with such faulty pre-election campaign will have ‘chaotic consequences’ and cast shadow on legitimacy of elections. Why government flinching for a biometric-based elections. Why it fears and why despite having enough time it did not agree to biometric legible voters. It flings two prospective—one—the government has no intention for conducting free, fair, and transparent elections –2—government is busy in plenty of inner problems or intentionally willing to win upcoming presidential election via ghost votes like there was in 2014. But it’s better for government and future of Afghanistan to let people elect president and Member of Parliament by real votes not forged. Everyone is favoring elections, as it is only alternative to current miseries—but through a nationwide and fraud-free elections.

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