Dispatches

AAN Electoral Blog No. 19: The day before the 2009 elections

Kabul 19 August 2009. The day started with a several hour shoot-out in Kabul’s old centre after a handful of armed men attacked a bank. The attack was claimed by a Taliban spokesperson and the story that was passed around was that the Taliban had entered the city and that fighting had started, which sounded […]

AAN Electoral Blog No. 18: Some last minute figures

Last minute figures indicate that there will be no voting in nine districts; that it is still not clear how many polling station are planned to be open (the ambiguity could lead to ‘ghost polling’), and that FEFA observers will cover roughly 60% of the country’s districts. Complaints received by the ECC show marked regional […]

AAN Electoral Blog No. 17: Voter Turnout – stating the obvious

Some things are so obvious that you almost forget to mention them. This is one of them: voter turnout and what that tells us about voter engagement and the credibility of the elections. The answer is: very little. The turnout figures which will be announced shortly after initial counting data has been gathered tell us […]

AAN Election Blog No. 13: The Debate

Sunday afternoon, flicking through the channels (men singing, dubbed cartoons, news in Pashtu) wondering whether it was going to happen, and there it was: the debate. A large light blue studio, an expectant audience and the three contenders sitting slightly nervous on the first row. It was an interesting two-hour watch, for several reasons, one […]

AAN Election Blog No. 12: Impressions from P2K (1): Flying with Both Hands

Gardez makes true of its name – ‘dusty’. The capital of the South-eastern province of Paktia’s skyline, with the two characteristic cony hills and the Bala Hissar, the fort, on a third hill under which Buddhist remains are suspected are barely visible in the dust that is driven by the afternoon wind over the plateau […]

AAN Election Blog No. 10: Elections in far-away places

Elections in far-away places can be fairly crude affairs. Never mind procedures and regulations and forget about the monitors. Travellers from a Hazara enclave in southern Afghanistan, recount what an election looks like in their quarters. In their area villagers are currently trying to figure out how to get the ballot papers and the boxes […]

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