Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Afghan Presidential Race Sees a Fractured Field

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World Policy Review, 7 October 2013

In this article about the candidate registration for the April 2014 Afghan presidential election, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig is quoted:

“The discussion is about names, not programs”, adding that apart from some background political “themes”—among them controversy over negotiating with the Taliban—he said, “I personally do not see any more concrete political programs, apart from the usual slogans”. He adds that “the electoral institutions are not independent; there will be ballot-stuffing, bulk voting, manipulations in the counting process and other fraud. Those who do this ‘best,’ not those with the most votes cast individually by real people, will have a bigger chance to win.” He also comments on the political fragmentation: “Most parties are mainly vehicles for personal ambitions, and because many of the bigger leaders see themselves as leaders of a certain ethnic group, this is often mixed in perception,” he said. Assembling an “ethnically balanced” ticket by selecting vice-presidential running mates to represent Afghanistan’s major ethnic groups has become a common tactic to attract broader appeal.