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.

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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The dispute was involving this ballot with a pen mark in favour of Rahmani who considered it to be a valid ballot and claimed that it should be counted. His opponents argued that this was invalid and should be excluded from the ballot count. Photo: Herat MP Nahid Farid Facebook page, 21 May 2019

The disputed election of the Wolesi Jirga’s speaker: A story of a balance of power, political allegiance and money

Ali Yawar Adili Rohullah Sorush

The Wolesi Jirga – the lower house of Afghanistan’s parliament – has, at last, been able to elect its speaker and the rest of its administrative board. This took place more than two months after the house was inaugurated and following several weeks of controversy that followed an extremely close and disputed run-off in the […]

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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 2019. Photo: IEC Facebook page

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (5): Slow preparations for a high-stake election

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has announced the new electoral calendar and started a 22-day top up voter registration process across Afghanistan. The announcement of the electoral calendar involved several key decisions, including that the IEC will hold only the presidential vote on 28 September 2019, that it will not change the electoral system ahead […]

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On 20 May, the Council of Presidential Candidates called a press conference and warned that if President Ghani did not step down on 22 May, crisis and instability would befall the country. The Council has proposed a caretaker government to lead elections, reconciliation process and transfer of power to the next elected president. Photo: General Murad Ali Murad’s Facebook Page

A Snapshot of the Week: Has Ghani consolidated his extended presidential term?

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica

Kabul has been on heightened security alert, as the presidential term of President Ashraf Ghani approached its constitutional end on 1 Jawza (22 May 2019). The authorities responded to calls by the political opposition for Ghani to step down in favour of a caretaker government and threats that protestors would take to the streets by […]

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The Results of Afghanistan’s 2018 Parliamentary Elections: A new, but incomplete Wolesi Jirga

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has, at long last, almost seven months after the ballot was held, finalised the results of the 2018 parliamentary elections. The parliament itself is almost four years overdue – the elections should have been held in 2015. Even now, Afghanistan does not have a completely newly-elected Wolesi Jirga as Ghazni’s […]

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The End of the Jirga: Strong Words and Not Much Controversy

Kate Clark Ali Yawar Adili Ehsan Qaane

The Consultative Peace Loya Jirga has ended in Kabul with reports back from the fifty committees of delegates, a speech from President Ghani and a communiqué which he said is now the government’s ‘roadmap’. Key points emerging from the jirga were calls for an ‘intra-Afghan’ dialogue with the Afghan government in charge, for a ceasefire and […]

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