Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

AAN In The Media – August 2009

11 min

Depois da euforia pós-eleitoral, a confrontação com a realidade afegã
O Diplomata, 31 August 2009
Martine van Bijlert is quoted in a Portugese blog by Alexandre Guerra on O Diplomata, on the likelihood of systematic fraud in the past elections.


Fraude zet Afghanistan op scherp (Fraud polarises Afghanistan)
Volkskrant Daily (Netherlands), 31 August 2009.
The Volkskrant mentions how according to Martine van Bijlert glossing over irregularities will only undermine the establishment of a more democratic culture in Afghanistan. And also: “We will probably never know how the Afghans really voted”.


Rising signs of fraud muddel Afghan elections
Washington Post, 31 August 2009.
“It does indicate there were a lot of allegations that have to be taken seriously, and if fraud did take place, that it was systematic,” said Martine van Bijlert, an analyst with The Afghanistan Analysts Network, an independent policy-research organization. Concern was mounting among members of the international community, but there was uncertainty about how to deal with it, she said.


Increasing Accounts of Fraud Cloud Afghan Vote
New York Times. 30 August 2009.
Article by Carlotte Gall on the Pol-e Charkhi fraud quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert.


Tekenen van fraude in onveilige regios (Signs of fraud in insecure areas)
NRC Daily. 29 August 2009
Dutch daily quotes Martine van Bijlert who describes different patterns of irregularities (ballot-stuffing before, during and after election day, and voter intimidation). She emphasises that it is much too early to say that the irregularities did not affect the outcome of the elections and that if the internationals ignore the fraud they threaten to further undermine popular confidence in their role.


Rauchen verboten – köpfen auch (Smoking prohibited – and also beheadings)
SWR 2 (German radio), 27 August 2009
Listen to AAN’s Thomas Ruttig in an interview on the new Taleban layha (handbook or code of conduct).


Rätselraten um Hintermänner (Guess work about the instigators)
die tageszeitung (Berlin), 27 August 2009
In an analysis of the latest car-bomb attack in Kandahar, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig points to possible ‘freelance’ Taleban commanders.


Voting for Afghanistan. Again and again and again.
www.crikey.com.au / 27 August 2009.
Article by Jeff Sparrow quotes several sources on Afghanistan’s electoral fraud, including Martine van Bijlert’s recent blog.


Leichte Führung für Karsai (Karzai in a Slight Lead)
die tageszeitung (Berlin), 26 August 2009
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig reports the first partial election results presented in Kabul and discussions about a possible ‘government of national unity’ (in German, the text contains a printing error on the number of Karzai votes).


Afghan election fraud allegations mount as Karzai lead widens
Christian Science Monitor. 26 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert: “The standard line in this kind of cases is that there were irregularities, but that they didn’t affect the outcome of the elections. Reports from the provinces suggest otherwise. They suggest that these irregularities were actually designed to affect the outcome of the elections and that they probably did,”


Afghanistan: Popular Anger Simmers over Electoral Fraud Allegations
eurasia.net, 26 August 2009
Aunohita Mojumdar quots Thomas Ruttig’s blog on the first partial results saying that ‘tallies are no check against ballot stuffing’.


Hamid Karzai leads in first presidential poll in Afghanistan
Digital Journal, 26 August 2009
Nothing can be determined and no clear winner can be established, at least according to Martine van Bijlert, an analyst at the Afghanistan Analysts Network, “It’s too early to say anything at the moment.”


Was the Afghan election rigged and where is the proof?
MacClatchey Daily, 26 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert gives first impressions on the legitimacy of the elections.


Claims of Fraud and Victory
Foreign Policy Blogs Network, 25 August 2009
Patrick Frost points to Martine van Bijlert’s blog on ‘examples of fraud from down on the ground (in the dirt?)’ and keeps hoping that the totality of the accusations does not undermine the legality of the election’s final results.


“Alle Zahlen beruhen auf unsauberen Grundlagen” (All figures on a dodgy basis)
Frankfurter Rundschau, 25 August 2009
In an interview with the Frankfurt daily, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig comments first partial results from Afghan presidential election.


Early election results give Karzai a narrow lead
The Guardian, 25 August 2009.
Van Bijlert said allegations of vote-rigging and multiple voting cast doubt on the data. “We will probably be able to get a better sense of the plausibility of the figures once we have more detail.”


Foreigners Neglet (sic) Afghan Voting Endeavors
The Palestine Telegraph, 25 August 2009.
This article in the Palestine Telegraph quotes extensively from Martine van Bijlert’s blogs and other news articles: “Most observers are treating the election as if it is over, but I think the real contest is just beginning. The main question is how much blatant breaking of the law will be accepted for the sake of [what seems to bring] short-term stability,”


Only the Most Modest Hopes of an Afghan Turning Point
POMED Wire (Project for Middle East Democracy), 25 August 2009.
Website quotes election blogs by Martine van Bijlert and Alex Strick van Linschoten on their election observations (which were apparently reposted on the Open Democracy website).


Karzai narrowly ahead says election commission
Radio France, 25 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert on her observations on election day and the “allegations of ballot stuffing and votes being added”.


Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah neck-and-neck in Afghan elections
The Telegraph. 25 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert: “It’s too early to say anything at the moment. It’s such a small sample. They are separated by 10,000 and we have only had ten per cent of the vote.”


Wahlen in Afghanistan: Karsai sieht sich als Sieger (Elections in Afghanistan: Karzai considers himself the winner)
taz.de (Germany), 24 August 2009
Taz quotes Martine van Bijlert on fraud in among others Ghazni and low turnout in the south.


Afghanistan: Internationals claim victory while Afghans cry fraud
Eurasianet.org. 24 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert comments on the problems of disenranchisement and fraud: “The main question is how much blatant breaking of the law will be accepted for the sake of [what seems to bring] short-term stability, Much of the fraud has been widespread, blatant and linked to government or electoral officials. If that is left unchallenged and unacknowledged, the message to the population is clear: this is how it is going to be.”


New Tactics for the Taliban: US Army Applies Lessons of Iraq to Afghanistan
Spiegel online, 24 August 2009
In an analysis of the new US tactics in Helmand province, Susanne Koelbl quots AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on a proposed broad approach to reconciliation.


Goochelen met de uitkomst in Afghanistan (Working the results in Afghanistan)
Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (Radio Netherlands World Service), 24 August 2009.
This article in Dutch quotes Martine van Bijlert’s the post-election blog “How much are we expected to believe?”


Zeit der Ungewissheit (Period of Uncertainty)
Tagesspiegel (Berlin), 22 August 2009
The Berlin daily extensively quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on post-election perspectives for Afghanistan.


British soldier killed in Afghanistan was son of SAS hero.
Times Online. 22 August 2009.
In an article which discusses both the latest death in Helmand and the Afghan elections, Martine van Bijlert is quoted on the emerging patterns in the south of low voter turnout and full ballot boxes.


Afghanistan-Wahl mit zahlreichen Unregelmäßigkeiten (Afghan Elections with Several Irregularities)
Tagesspiegel.de (Berlin), 22. August 2009
In a report about the Afghan elections, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted as saying that the Taleban threat campaign contributed to a low voter turn-out.


Afghan voters brave rockets, bombs
Washington Times, 21 August 2009
In an article from Shiberghan (Northern Afghanistan), AAN’s Martine van Bijlert’s pre-election report is quoted, including her assessement that there is ‘appetite for non-factional alignment’ among Afghans.


Karzai, Abdullah both claim victory in early vote results
France24, 21 August 2009.
The article on early claims of victory and reports of possible fraud quotes AAN’s Martine van Bijlert


Afghan poll faces major hurdles.
ABC News. 21 August 2009.
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert describes initial election day impressions.


‘Die Milizen können jederzeit mobilisiert werden’ (The militias can be mobilised any time)
Der Standard (Vienna), 21 August 2009
An interview by the Vienna weekly with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig about Afghan elections turn out, accusations of manipulation and the likelihood of violent outbreaks. (in German).


Presidential elections in Afghanistan (audio file)
Radio New Zealand, 21 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert gives her first impressions of the Afghan Presidential elections


Vote counting underway in Afghanistan elections
ABC News (radio interview and transcript), 21 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert give first impressions after polling day: a sense of relief, but at the same time insecurity, differences in turnout and reports of fraud.


Wahlen in schwarzen Löchern (Elections in Black Holes)
Neues Deutschland (Berlin), 20 August 2009
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig reports from the run-up to the elections in Paktia and Paktika provinces (in German; free for subscribers only).


Anschläge überschatten Präsidentenwahl (Attacks overshadow presidential elections)
Spiegel online/dpa, 20 August 2009
The website of the German weekly cites AAN’s Thomas Ruttig about the security situation and the turn-out on election day in Southeast Afghanistan.


Wahlen in Afghanistan (Elections in Afghanistan)
Radio1 (Potsdam/Germany), 20 August 2009
Listen to AAN’s Thomas Ruttig reporting from a polling site at the Tera Pass in Paktia province (in German).


«Die Afghanen wollen ein besseres Leben» (The Afghans Want a Better Life)
Schaffhauser Nachrichten (Switzerland), 20 August 2009
Jan Jirat of the Swiss daily extensively interviews AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on the Afghan elections and perpectives of the country (in German).


Day of Reckoning
The Sydney Morning Herald. 20 August 2009
An article describing the likelihood of fraud in the Afghan elections quotes (and attributes) from ‘How to Win an Afghan Election’.


Afghan elections: What’s at stake?
Christian Science Monitor, 20 August 2009
In a pre-election report, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quotes as saying that a ‘high reported turnout would put more question marks about [the] legitimacy [of the elections] than low turnout’.


Sprengsätze an der Urne (Explosive Devices at the Ballot Box)
die tageszeitung (Berlin), 20 August 2009
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig reports from the run-up to the elections in Paktia and Paktika provinces (in German).


“Jullie buitenlanders bepalen wie de president wordt.” (“You foreigners determine who will be the President”)
Reformatisch Dagblad (Netherlands). 20 August 2009.
Journalist Ab Jansen gives a very good summary of ‘How to Win an Afghan Election’.


Presidential elections in Afghanistan (podcast)
Nine to Noon, 20 August 2009
Martine van Bijlert on New Zealand radio talking on the Afghan elections.


Blutige Wahlen in Afghanistan (Blood-stained Elections in Afghanistan)
Financial Times Germany, 20 August 2009
In a report about the vote in Afghanistan, the paper quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig as saying that the UN had transferred political responsibility for the elections to Afghan institutions too early.


Britney Spears votes in Afghanistan
The Age (Australia), 20 August 2009
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted on electoral fraud and fake registered voters.


Afghanistan: From Insurgency to Insurrection
The Economist. 20 August 2009.
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted on the international involvement in Afghanistan: “We think we’re at the centre of things, but we’re not, we’re at the margins of Afghanistan, And we’re so busy having meetings and discussing our plans we’re not even seeing what’s coming at us.”


Election a key moment for Afghanistan
National Post, 19 August 2009.
The article quotes Martine van Bijlert’s pre-election report: “Afghans view the upcoming elections with a mix of indifference and anticipation, (…) There is a widespread conviction that the elections will be ‘fixed’ by a combination of international interference, deals between political leaders and fraud.


Afghaanse keuze: deze of geen verkiezing (The Afghan choice: this election or no election)
De Volkskrant Daily (Netherlands). 19 August 2009.
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted about the likelihood of fraud in the Afghan elections and the necessity to acknowledge what really happens.


Menschen haben große Angst vor den Taliban (People are afraid of the Taleban)
Domradio (Cologne), 19 August 2009
Interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig about the pre-election situation in Southeastern Afghanistan. Here the audio.


‘We Don’t Have Any Alternative to Karzai’
Washington Post, 19 August 2009
In a report from Eastern Afghanistan, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted on reasons why President Karzai is the favourite in the upcoming elections.


Will fraud mar credibility of Afghan elections?
New Kerala, 19 August 2009
The Indian newspaper discusses the credibility of the Afghan presidential elections and quots Kai Eide, Sima Samar and AAN’s Thomas Ruttig as saying: “It’s about elections that are acceptable for Afghans,”


Ethnic strains, backroom deals pull at Afghan election outcome
National Post (Canada)
Article quotes AAN’s pre-election report: “Afghans view the upcoming elections with a mix of indifference and anticipation,” writes Martine van Bijlert of the Afghanistan Analysts Network. “There is a widespread conviction that the elections will be ‘fixed’ by a combination of international interference, deals between political leaders and fraud.”


On eve of elections, fraud concerns loom
France 24. 18 August 2009.
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted on the opportunities for fraud presented by insecurity and a lack of tranpsarency.


Elke dag zes agenten doodgeschoten (Every day six policemen killed).
De Standaard Daily (Belgium). 18 August 2009.
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted on the linkages between governance and the insurgency.


Bird’s eye view of the Afghan presidential debate
Foreign Policy. The AfPak Channel, 18 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert’s blog on the presidential debate is posted on the AfPak Channel.


Afghan warlord General Dostum returns to boost Karzai’s campaign
The Times Online, 18 August 2009.
AAN’s Martine van Bijlert is quoted on General Dostum’s return to Afghanistan.


Nato-Kommandeur hält Taliban für stärker als 2001
Spiegel online, 18 August 2009
The German weekly’s website quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on the lack of observer’s presence during Afghanistan’s presidential vote.


Het lijkt wel of men naar ons kijkt (People seem to be looking at us).
Volkskrant blog. 17 August 2009
Journlist Rob Vreeken describes meeting AAN’s Thomas Ruttig (“What can you say, a bomb is a bomb”).


Fragezeichen über Kabul (Question Mark over Kabul)
die tageszeitung (Berlin), 17 August 2009
From Kabul, AAN Thomas Ruttig reports on the campaign for the 20 August presidential election and on the influence of polls and afghan perceptions.


Praktizierter Frieden in Afghanistan (Peace Work in Practice)
n-tv, 17 August 2009
In a portrait of German nurse Karla Schefter who established a hospital in Wardak province20 years ago that survived all political turns in Afghanistan, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is praising Karla’s work as ‘revolutionary’.


Gibt es den guter Krieg? (Is There a Good War?)
Swiss Radio DRS4, 17 August 2009
Listen to an interview with AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on backgrounds of the current situation in Afghanistan, part of a feature also covering Kosovo and Haiti.


Peace Talks with Taliban Top Issue in Afghan Vote
New York Times. 17 August 2009.
AAN’s report on the Taliban by Thomas Ruttig is quoted in an analysis by Carlotta Gall.


The Corruption Factor
Montreal Gazette, 16 August 2009
In a piece about corruption, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted on links to the drug business.


Revitalised Taliban to dog Afghan election winner
Sindh Today (DPA). 16 August 2009.
AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted on the latest Taliban attack in Kabul. The article was also published on prokerala.com and in part on Hindustan Times (Taliban still around, deadly).


Karzai counts on tribal vote to win Kandahar
Mail & Gaurdian Online. 16 August 2009.
The article quotes AAN reporting that up to 3 million of the registered voters may not exist.


A Taliban attack on the electoral process, or just on NATO?
France 24. 16 August 2009.
In an article by Leela Jacinto AAN’s Martine van Bijlert and Thomas Ruttig are quoted on the Taliban involvement in the latest attack in Kabul, and the implications for the elections.


Dreigementen van de Taliban vooral grootspraak (Taliban threats largely bluster)
Trouw Daily (Netherlands), 15 Augustus 2009.
AAN co-director Martine van Bijlert is interviewed about the prospects for deals, fraud and violence in the coming elections.


Abdullah Abdullah throws down election gauntlet to Karzai
The Times. 15 August 2009.
In an article by Jeremy Page AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted, saying that the international community’s legitimacy is at stake in this election.


Warten auf eine neue Generation (Waiting for a New Generation)
Tagesspiegel (Berlin), 15 August 2009
In an analysis of the upcoming elections and prospects of democracy in Afghanistan by Ulrike Scheffer, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted along with women’s activist Soraya Parlika, minister Ehsan Zia and civil society activist Islamuddin Hanifi (in German).


Helicopters, crowds and cash as Afghan campaign heads into home stretch
Christian Science Monitor, 14 August 2009.
Martine van Bijlert on the meaning of Afghan campaign rallies: “Campaign rallies tell you nothing about people’s convictions or how they are going to vote. A lot go because they are told they are going to something else, or because they are summoned (…) a campaign is about image and perceptions, It shows strength – if you don’t do it at all, you are not a serious candidate.”


Obama’s campaign lessons go online the Afghan way
Radio France 24, 13 August 2009
Thomas Ruttig from AAN is quoted in a piece about the Afghan online election campaign on the English website of the station.


Mehr Eigenverantwortung für die Afghanen (More responsibilities for the Afghans)
n-tv, 12 August 2009
In a pre-election report on the role of the Bundeswehr during the Afghan elections, the private German TV station quots Thomas Ruttig’s election report published by the Berlin thinktank SWP.


Reden mit den Taliban – und dann? (Talk to the Taleban – and then?)
Tagesspiegel (Berlin), 12 August 2009
The German daily extensively quotes AAN’s Thomas Ruttig on chances to talk to the Taleban and about the ceasefire in Badghis province (in German).


Der Sack und der Esel (The Sack and the Donkey)
die tageszeitung (Berlin), 12 August 2009
In an op-ed for the Berlin daily, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig calls the balance of the Karzai years ‘devastating’ – but adds that balming the President is like beating the bag instead of the donkey (in German; English version in our blogs).


Afghanistan vietnamiseert (Afghanistan ‘vietnamising’)
Arnold Karsken. De Pers Daily (Netherlands). 12 August 2009.
The article describes the increasing parallels between the Afghanistan and Vietnam wars. It quotes AAN’s election report on the Afghan perceptions that the elections are being fixed by international interference, deals between leaders and fraud.


Wahl in Afghanistan: Mit Sicherheit gefaehrlich (Election in Afghanistan surely dangerous)
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), 10 August 2009
In a report from Kabul on the pre-election security situation, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig latest report for SWP (in German) is quoted.


Themenpaket Afghanistan (Focus Afghanistan)
dpa (German Press Agency), 9 – 13 August 2009
In an extensive background package on the Afghan presidential elections, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted on the possible election outcome and the danger of violence in its aftermath.


Taliban-Nadelstichtaktik macht Nato ratlos (Taleban Tactics of Pin Pricks Leaves Nato at a Loss)
die tageszeitung (Berlin), 8 August 2009
In an article from Kabul, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig calls the new Nato secretary-general’s call for more international troops to be sent to Afghanistan a ‘helpless’ move and points to renewed support for talks with the Taleban, including by former UN and EU colleague Michael Semple.


Afghan Leader Courts the Warlord Vote
The New York Times, 7 August 2009
In an article by Richard A, Oppel jr about President’s Karzai’s strategy for re-election, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted as saying that the inclusion of warlords in the power set-up undermines the standing of the incumbent.

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