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.

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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Counting the vote in Bamyan city in Afghanstan’s fourth presidential elections (Photo: Ali Yawar Adili 2019)

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (11): A first look at how E-Day went

Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

The Independent Election Commission has given its first rough estimation of turnout in Afghanistan’s 2019 Presidential Elections. It was low, with fewer than two million voters out of 9.66 million registered, about a quarter, coming out to vote. The Taleban only managed to conduct one large-scale attack, in Kandahar city, but committed 400 other, mainly […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (10): What to watch out for on election day

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

Past Afghan elections have frequently been bewildering and surreal, even for those following the politics of the country for a long time. With this in mind, and taking into account the recent measures adopted to try to stave off a repeat of the chaos, AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, Martine van Bijlert, Ali Yawar Adili and Jelena […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (9): Presidential poll primer

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica Thomas Ruttig

After two delays and the cancelation of a peace deal which might have scuppered the poll altogether, Afghanistan’s presidential election is finally to happen, on Saturday 28 September. It will be the country’s fourth presidential election and seventh election in total since 2001. In this primer, AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili, Jelena Bjelica and Thomas Ruttig […]

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A still from the documentary showing a young girl wearing the traditional hat called kola-ye topak-dar in Daikundi province. Photo: Nasim Seyamak

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (8): Greater insecurity, fewer votes and pre-election politics in Herat

S Reza Kazemi

Security has been deteriorating in the western province of Herat with the government and Taleban continuing to hit each other hard, particularly in districts farther from the provincial capital. Insecurity, together with the disillusionment after the previous mismanaged elections, is likely to result in fewer voters going to the polls on 28 September compared to […]

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On the first day of the election campaign, only two (Ghani and Atmar) out of 18 candidates put up their pictures and posters along Darul Aman Road, a major road in Kabul. Atmar's election ticket has disintegrated since then. Photo: Ali Yawar Adili, 28 July 2019

Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (7): Dithering over peace amid a lacklustre campaign

Ali Yawar Adili Thomas Ruttig

One ticket has fallen apart and one candidate has withdrawn his candidacy in favour of another. This has reduced the number of presidential candidates from 18 to 16 and left the two incumbents, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah, as the main contenders in the race. In this piece, AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili […]

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Past as Prologue? What the parliamentary election results tell us about the September presidential election

Scott Warden

To better understand the influences that will shape the outcome of the upcoming presidential election, guest author Scott Worden (with input from Colin Cookman)* analyses recent voter registration patterns, as well as voting patterns from the last parliamentary election, in October 2018. He found large differences between provinces and regions – in security conditions, rates […]

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An IEC registration officer registers a voter at Naderia High School in Kabul as the IEC launched a 22-day top up voter registration across the country on 8 June. Photo: IEC Facebook page, 8 June 2018

Afghanistan’s 2019 elections (6): Presidential campaign kicks off amid uncertainty

Ali Yawar Adili

The campaign to become Afghanistan’s new president will be launched later today. As 18 candidates approach the starting line, AAN researcher Ali Yawar Adili looks at lingering doubts that the election will actually happen, at the rules on campaigning, and the divisions and splits in the various political parties that have taken place in the […]

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