Political Landscape

The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (3): The dilemma of electoral constituencies

It looks increasingly unlikely that the next parliamentary (and district council) elections can be held as planned on 7 July 2018. Although the Independent Election Commission (IEC) continues its preparations for the polls, important questions remain unresolved. Due to a lack of consensus, the electoral system remains unchanged, but the IEC has been grappling with […]

A Matter of Registration: Factional tensions in Hezb-e Islami

Hezb-e Islami has run into a legal conflict over registration. This hampers efforts to re-unite the party’s various factions after the return of its ‘historical’ leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and in the run-up to the elections planned for 2018. It also reflects internal dynamics between a more pragmatic wing of Hezb-e Islami, which is participating in […]

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (1): Political pressure on commissioners puts 2018 vote in doubt

While struggling to prepare for the parliamentary (and supposedly also district council) elections scheduled for the 7 July 2018, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) are finding themselves under increasing fire from a growing number of political groups and election observer bodies. There have been allegations of financial corruption, government interference […]

The ‘Ankara Coalition’: Opposition from within the government

Over the past two years, the National Unity Government (NUG) has been challenged by internal power struggles, protest movements and now an ‘opposition’ coalition made up of influential officials from within. It is the first time, however, that leaders of three mainstream political parties from three major ethnic groups have joined forces – at least […]

From ‘Traditionalist’ Islam to ‘Modern’ Islamist Nationalism: A new AAN report about ideology in the Afghan Taleban

The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab […]

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