Author Archives: Thomas Ruttig

About Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan in World War I (1): Afghans in the Kaiser’s jihad

 A hundred years ago, on 28 July 1914, the First World War started when Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia after a group of young pro-independence Serbian terrorists shot dead the Austro-Hungarian crown prince in Sarajevo one month earlier. Soon, millions were dying on the battlefields across four continents in what was termed the “first global […]

Elections (31): Afghanistan’s confusing election maths

Only hours after polling centres had closed on the evening of the second round of voting in the Afghan presidential election, the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) was already giving the first turnout figures. They were high. Some media broadcast them without question; other outlets were more sceptical, citing anecdotal evidence suggesting turnout might actually […]

Elections 2014 (30): Some initial reflections on E-Day II

The counting of second round votes from the presidential elections is still under way in much of Afghanistan, although results are now trickling in from some polling stations. Meanwhile, everyone is trying to assess how well the second round went: the impact of security incidents, level of fraud and, especially importantly, how big the turnout […]

Elections 2014 (22): How disenchantment with General Dostum split the Uzbek vote bank

The outcome in the Uzbek- and Turkmen-dominated provinces in northern Afghanistan of the first round of the 5 April presidential election has turned in an unexpected direction. Jombesh-e Melli-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan’s (The National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan), the self-declared dominating party in this region, had expected to obtain the entire ‘Turkic’ vote for the Ghani-Dostum […]

Under Fire: The status of the 2014 election observation

Election observers can play a useful role, nudging – both directly and through their governments – Afghan election authorities towards greater transparency and accountability, writes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig. However, this year’s international observer missions have, compared to the elections in 2009 and 2010, shrunk significantly. This is for different reasons, among them organisations’ fear to […]

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