AAN Election Guest Blog 2: This is how election fraud worked in Kandahar

It was already dark and Afghanistan‘s elections had been over since three hours. Then suddenly two men accompanied by three police cars with armed and uniformed escorts showed up in front of the polling site in Kandahar’s Aino Mena neighbourhood. Very relaxed they entered the premises where ballot boxes where waiting to be picked up […]

AAN Election Guest Blog 1: Logar – any voters out there?

For various reasons Logar seemed to be an interesting area to develop an understanding about the insurgency, the elections – and electoral fraud. The province, just south of Kabul, has the reputation to be at least partly controlled by Taleban. US forces conducted numerous raids in spring and had clashes with armed opponents. Only recently […]

AAN Election Blog No. 25: Balm for Election Sores

The partial results presented by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in a well-attended press conference today in Kabul are mainly meant to calm down the tense atmosphere of accusations and counter-accusations that has developed since E-Day by applying a dose of transparency. It does not say much about what the outcome of the elections will […]

AAN Election Blog No. 24: Stuffing and Counting in Paktia

A few days after the election, Paktia is in counting mode. Results from the districts trickle in and are collected and reconcilied by the different candidates’ campaigns. Also reports about a lot of irregularities are coming in, despite the low coverage of independent election observers. On the first two days after the election, Afghans in […]

AAN Election Blog No. 23: How much are we expected to believe?

As journalists are starting to pack up and go home and observers are formulating their conclusions (some irregularities, need to work on the voter registration) it seems that the real contest is yet to start. The network of governors, district governors, police chiefs and local commanders, that was mobilised in the run up to the […]

A clarification

Some German-language media have quoted me over the past days as saying that the turn-out during the Afghan presidential elections was ‘low except in the urban centres’. This seems to indicate that I spoke about all of Afghanistan. In fact, I said that this assessment only referred to South-Eastern Afghanistan, with the four provinces of […]

AAN Election Blog No. 22: E-Day in P2K

Frankly, when I went to bed on E-Day eve in Gardez, on Wednesday, I wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea to leave the UNAMA compound the next day to watch polling sites in Paktia province. A lot of people looked very sceptical when I mentioned this idea. Gardez centre was the maximum, almost […]

AAN Election Blog No. 20: Armchair analyst

Distance can provide perspective, at least that is what armchair analysts like myself try to convince ourselves. However, having monitored two elections in Afghanistan, I know that distance also means that one misses the political undercurrents and the real stories behind facts and figures. During the first Presidential elections, Bob Dylan’s song ‘Black Diamond Bay’ […]

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 […]

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