Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Month: September 2010

Afghan president calls for release of journalists

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Associated Press, 23 September 2010 Recent arrests of three journalists in Afghanistan by Coalition forces reminiscent of a US military strategy used in Iraq: detaining local journalists as a way to disrupt insurgents’ propaganda networks.

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2010 Elections 11: A cab ride through Herat voting

Fabrizio Foschini

Impressions from one of the biggest and richest Afghan cities where high turnout and low levels of fraud were expected highlight how the appearance of a highly organized election can distract from the fault-lines all around: just few kilometres out of the nicely accessible Herat city centre, a whole slew of fraud techniques were being […]

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Talking Pashto 2: 40 countries, two options

Thomas Ruttig

We continue our series of mini Pashto lessons, not with a poem or a proverb this time, but with a short and striking sentence I heard from a campaigner for one of the woman candidates in Paktia yesterday. ‘Da de tsalwexht pe sha-o-khwa hewaduna dwa lare lari: De edari fasad per zed mubareza – ya […]

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2010 Elections 10: The Case of Ahmadkhel

Thomas Ruttig

Up in the mountains along the border between Paktia and Khost provinces, where proud and strong tribes live and Taleban and HIG fighters roam, lies the district of Ahmadkhel. It is named after one particular branch of the large Dzadzi tribe(*), funnily enough after the one which is smaller in number there. Another subtribe, the […]

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Footnotes to an AAN political parties blog

Andrew Wilder

On 13 September 2010, we published a piece about the role of political parties in the current Afghan election process and also touched upon the issue of the election system, the Single Non-Transferable Vote or SNTV. We called the latter ‘a party-less party-hostile system’. Our frequent author Aunohita Mojumdar disagrees – and finds the Afghan […]

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U.S. contractor accused of fraud still winning big Afghan projects

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McClatchy Newspapers, 19 September 2010 The US newspaper reports, that although the Louis Berger Group has been under investigation for ‘intentionally and systematically overbilling American taxpayers’, it was till able to pull in new contracts over 1.4 bn US dollar – so much about Afghan corruption. The article also provides background info about the company.

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Why the next parliament won’t check Karzai’s power

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Christian Science Monitor, 19 Sept. 2010 Ben Arnoldy reports about the disintegration of Dr Abdullah’s ‘new’ alliance ‘Hope and Change’ which is often – not entirely correct – called ‘the opposition’ in Afghanistan.

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2010 Elections 9: So how did the elections go?

Martine van Bijlert

Like others we have been fielding questions all day on how yesterday’s elections went. And we’ve been saying the same thing in all its variations: it’s too early to tell. It will take several days for the initial reports and impressions to settle. It will take a bit longer to filter out the distortions. Then […]

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Let's talk turnout in the parliamentary election in Paktia 2010: polling staff, no voters, in the afternoon. Photo: Thomas Ruttig

2010 Elections 8: Let’s talk turnout (updated)

Martine van Bijlert

The IEC has released a figure for the indicative turnout of yesterday’s poll (40%). It is now being widely repeated and compared to other figures, including previous elections and turnout percentages in our home countries. It happens so often. For some reason nobody finds it necessary to understand where these random figures come from and […]

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2010 Elections 7: Gardez on E-Day

Thomas Ruttig

Warning: The following are just some impressions from a limited area of Afghanistan. No conclusion should be drawn from it about the ‘Afghan’ elections as a whole. On the other hand, because Gardez town with its three polling centres has relatively clear borders, we were able to observe ‘all’ of it and a few trends […]

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2010 Elections 6: All Together Now: ‘This Is Not Switzerland’

Thomas Ruttig

This blog entry discusses the often heard proposition that ‘Afghanistan is not Switzerland’ and why it does not make sense when it comes to tomorrow’s parliamentary elections in Afghanistan. It argues that elections of a much better quality were indeed possible and recalls how this chance was squandered, by not implementing electoral reform as suggested […]

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