Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: August 2009

AAN Election Blog No. 11: The Return of the General (to be continued)

Martine van Bijlert

The unexpected return of General Dostum on Sunday night, one day before the end of the campaign period, may solidify Jombesh support for Karzai – depending of course on how tomorrow’s breakfast with President Karzai goes and on what the General tells his followers. More details later, as they come in.

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

Martine van Bijlert

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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AAN Election Blog No. 9: On the Campaign Trail III

Martine van Bijlert

Kabul provincial council candidates try to scrape together their campaign and to attract the attention of the city and district voters. A closer look at how this works, through the eyes of three Kabul contenders – let’s call them Shafiqa, Engineer Ahmad and ‘Mohammad the Poor Guy’. As a provincial council contender it makes sense […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 8: The Best Election Posters (2)

Martine van Bijlert

Today: Al-Haj Ustad Zakera Anwar – the power of Tide: The prize for the best location receives Ms Zakera Anwar, a Kabul provincial council candidate from Qala-ye Fathullah in the Afghan capital who calls herself an ‘independent’. She placed her poster in a grocery shop – next to a stack of washing powder. The message […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 7: Parliament’s closed doors and wedding discussions

Martine van Bijlert

It’s already a while ago that the Parliament closed its doors (after it turned out that most MPs were too busy campaigning to come anywhere near a quorum). A quick look at the subjects they discussed during that first day of convening (25 July 2009) – just after they came back from recess and before […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 6: An Ink Issue Again?

Thomas Ruttig

During the 2004 presidential election, ink became an issue. Enraged losing candidates went as far as to demand that the vote be annulled because the ink supposedly did not work. Will it become an issue again? In 2004, the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) – composed of Afghans and internationals – had purchased indelible ink […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 5: The Best Candidates’ Posters (1)

Thomas Ruttig

In a loose series, AAN will introduce some of the best election posters and give some background on the respective candidates. Today: Foruzan Fana – positive vibrations and an unresolved murder. Walking or driving through the streets of Kabul is quite interesting these days. The 38 presidential and over 300 Kabul provincial council candidates’ posters […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 4: The Bag and the Donkey

Thomas Ruttig

The balance of Karzai‘s five year tenure for Afghanistan is devastating – but it is unfair to blame him alone. Indeed, the general framework has considerably improved in comparison to the Taleban era. The country is no more an outcast in the world community but receives unprecedented international support. There are NGOs, political parties and […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 3: On the Campaign Trail II

Martine van Bijlert

Campaigning in Afghanistan. The phone calls start coming in and friends stop by: let me tell you what is happening in my area. These are the details of just one day: rallies, threats and doubts. People from Spin Boldak are cancelling their attendance for an Abdullah rally in Kandahar because the drivers of the hired […]

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How to Win an Afghan Election; Perceptions and Practices

Martine van Bijlert

In its second report the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) holds the magnifying glass to the Afghan elections, exploring the impact of high-level deals, local-level decision-making processes, and electoral manipulation. The author, Martine van Bijlert, used her extensive in-country experience, contacts and language skills to provide a detailed analysis of the deal-making and politicking that underlie […]

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11 August 2009: AAN’s second report released: How to Win an Afghan Election

AAN admin

In its second report the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) holds the magnifying glass to the Afghan elections, exploring the impact of high-level deals, local-level decision-making processes, and electoral manipulation. The author, Martine van Bijlert, has used her extensive in-country experience, contacts and language skills to provide a detailed analysis of the deal-making and politicking that […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 2: On the Campaign Trail

Martine van Bijlert

A view of the Afghan elections through the eyes of the so-called ‘minor actors’, those without influence and money who try to navigate and position themselves and try to find their place in what is going on. The first campaigner to be introduced is – let’s call him Abdul Mohammad. The last few times I […]

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