Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Political Landscape

This thematic category encompasses AAN’s reporting on Afghanistan’s major political events, including elections, the formation of cabinets and other appointments, the key political actors and their trajectories, and the many under-reported political trends.

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (24): Disputed recount, threats not to accept results, and some interesting new data

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has overruled the demand by most of the presidential candidates to invalidate around 300,000 out of the 1.8 million votes (about 16 per cent) from the 28 September presidential election. Critics wanted these excluded before the IEC started auditing and recounting the votes from 8,255 ‘problematic’ polling stations. However, the […]

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BVV devices unloaded in IEC’s Warehouse Three where they were checked before being sent for data transfer. That transfer is now complete, but disputes over turnout continue. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 3 October 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (23): Disputed biometric votes endanger election results

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica

Almost 40 days after the election, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) has still not been able to give a final turnout figure for the presidential election. The latest figure announced by the IEC is just over 1.8 million, but this does not seem to be the final count. As for the 770,000 to 900,000 votes […]

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Kuduz after the fighting on September 28, 2015. Photo Credit: @ehsan_af (Twitter)

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (22): Glances at Kunduz, Baghlan, Samangan

Obaid Ali

Kunduz, with its eponymous capital as the centre of one of the seven multi-province regions in Afghanistan (the northeast), had the lowest turnout of all Afghan provinces in the 28 September 2019 presidential election. This applies to  absolute and relative numbers – the latter a meagre 6.4 per cent. Baghlan had the second-lowest numbers. Bad […]

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BVV devices that have arrived in IEC’s Warehouse 3 in Kabul. They will be checked and then sent to IEC headquarters for their data to be transferred to the IEC server. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 3 October 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (21): BVV devices and a delay in announcing preliminary results

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has completed the transfer of data from the biometric devices to its central server. Those 1,932,673 votes now need to be gone through using a verification process to weed out duplicate, underage and ‘photo-proxy’ votes. Only then, will the IEC know the final number of biometrically-validated votes. It has also, […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (20): Even lower turnout figures

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has published the first turnout figures which are backed up by biometric voter data. After weeks of ever greater turnout figures being successively announced, this latest update has reversed the trend: the IEC is now saying only 1.7 million ‘BVVed votes’ were cast, a decrease in reported turnout of almost one […]

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The polling centre manager helps control female voters queuing to cast their ballots during the extended polling time, at the Shinya Madrasa, Bamyan. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 28 September 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 election (18): How the people of Bamyan, Daikundi and Lal wa Sarjangal voted

Ali Yawar Adili

The election in the largely Hazara provinces of Bamyan and Daikundi and Lal wa Sarjangal district of Ghor province went relatively smoothly, albeit with two technical problems that were ubiquitous – slow and (temporarily) malfunctioning Biometric Voter Verification (BVV) devices and disturbing instances of voters being turned away because their names were not on the […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (17): IEC tally process underway but figures remain murky

AAN Team

The IEC aims to announce the preliminary results of the presidential elections on 19 October 2019. It is however struggling with the logistical challenge of gathering and vetting even the most basic electoral data. There is also the question of how to deal with the aftermath of yet another instance of a patchily implemented, sophisticated […]

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A tribal elder casting his voting in Kandak high school of Qalat (Zabul), looking for the person who would take biometric data.

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (16): Signs of fraud in Zabul

Aref Zabuli

In largely Taleban-controlled Zabul province, there are considerable discrepancies between the reported turnout and what was observed on the ground. After a very quiet campaign and fighting near the provincial capital and in all districts on election day, it was not a surprise to see very few voters in the polling centres in Qalat city. […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (15): Administrative and technical problems in Kabul city

William Maley

Continuing our reports of how the 2019 Afghan presidential election went, we take a close look at the voting in Kabul city. With the most registered voters of any city or province by a long way, Kabul is one of the most electorally-significant. With its mixed population, the voting intentions of its population are difficult […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (14): In Herat, power and comms failure, district insecurity and low turnout

S Reza Kazemi

There was a slight increase in campaigning in the last few days ahead of the poll, especially in the provincial capital, but E-Day itself suffered from electricity and telecommunication failures in many parts Herat province. Worse, the Taleban launched attacks on areas near polling centres in districts across the province with a view mostly to […]

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With intermittent fighting and rocket attacks throughout the day, election workers in the Awal Baba school voting centre in Maidan Shahr, had little work to do. Photo: Andrew Quilty, 2019.

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (13): Observations from Kandahar, Takhar, Wardak and Balkh

AAN Team

Observations from the provinces show an election that, in general, saw less violence than anticipated, although some provinces were still very violent. Despite this, turnout was low, even in the relatively safe provincial capitals. Problems with the biometric verification process also meant that some voters who were registered were sent away. In this dispatch, AAN […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (12): Scrutinising the IEC’s partial turnout figures

AAN Team

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has provided partial turnout figures for Saturday’s presidential election, but the numbers and the manner in which they have been released are somewhat baffling. Two days after the vote, it is also still not clear how many polling centres opened on polling day. The fluidity of the figures and a […]

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