Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Reports

Reports – previously known as dispatches – are the flagship of the AAN website and our main type of publication. AAN reports are based on extensive desk and field research and provide timely and in-depth information and analysis.

AAN Electoral Blog No. 18: Some last minute figures

Martine van Bijlert

Last minute figures indicate that there will be no voting in nine districts; that it is still not clear how many polling station are planned to be open (the ambiguity could lead to ‘ghost polling’), and that FEFA observers will cover roughly 60% of the country’s districts. Complaints received by the ECC show marked regional […]

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AAN Electoral Blog No. 17: Voter Turnout – stating the obvious

Martine van Bijlert

Some things are so obvious that you almost forget to mention them. This is one of them: voter turnout and what that tells us about voter engagement and the credibility of the elections. The answer is: very little. The turnout figures which will be announced shortly after initial counting data has been gathered tell us […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 16: Impressions from P2K (3): Taleban Shut Down Bazaars in Paktika and Khost

Thomas Ruttig

The scenery was a bit like in those Westerns where the population has got wind that the really bad guys would ride into town soon. The sun was scorching down almost vertically, the wind drove plumes of dust and waste plastic bags down the main road while a single motorbike with two young chaps curved […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 15: The Best Candidates’ Posters (3) – War & Peace Movements

Thomas Ruttig

The prize for the boldest election poster goes to Shahnawaz Tanai, another presidential candidate from the South-East, from Khost province to be precise where his Tani tribe dwells in the dry plains outside Khost town ‘where only stones grow in the field’ as a local friend describes it and in the chromite-(holding) hills to the […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 13: The Debate

Martine van Bijlert

Sunday afternoon, flicking through the channels (men singing, dubbed cartoons, news in Pashtu) wondering whether it was going to happen, and there it was: the debate. A large light blue studio, an expectant audience and the three contenders sitting slightly nervous on the first row. It was an interesting two-hour watch, for several reasons, one […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 12: Impressions from P2K (1): Flying with Both Hands

Thomas Ruttig

Gardez makes true of its name – ‘dusty’. The capital of the South-eastern province of Paktia’s skyline, with the two characteristic cony hills and the Bala Hissar, the fort, on a third hill under which Buddhist remains are suspected are barely visible in the dust that is driven by the afternoon wind over the plateau […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 14: Impressions from P2K (2): Floor Crossing and an Afghan Perspective

Thomas Ruttig

For someone who is used to think of Pashtuns as wild big guys with big beards and big noses, armed with Kalashnikovs, a stroll through the bazaar of Gardez today must have been shocking. With not only the presidential elections (on 20 August) but also the holy fasting month of Ramazan (on 21 August – […]

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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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