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.

President Ashraf Ghani administering the swearing-in of Chief Executive Abdullah and his deputies on 29 September 2014. Photo: 29 September 2014, Palace Facebook page

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (4): What will happen when the presidential tenure runs out on 22 May?

Ali Yawar Adili

The Supreme Court has ruled that President Muhammad Ashraf Ghani and his vice-presidents shall continue to serve until the election of a new president. This ruling comes in the wake of mounting pressure by a number of presidential candidates and their political backers, who have called on the government leaders to step down after 22 […]

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Why the Taleban Should Read the Afghan Constitution

Ghizaal Haress

As talks between the US and the Taleban move forward, we are starting to see the contours and obstacles to peace in Afghanistan. One of the possible obstacles to reaching an agreement is the Taleban’s view that Afghanistan’s current constitution is unsuitable and unacceptable. Ghizaal Haress, a prominent Afghan lawyer and a member of the […]

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Afghanistan’s new set of election officials are sworn in by the Chief Justice at the presidential palace on 4 March. Their first job will be sorting out the parliamentary elections. At the same time, they need to prepare for the all-important presidential poll in July.

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (3): New electoral commissioners, amendments to the electoral law

Ali Yawar Adili

President Ashraf Ghani has appointed new commissioners and heads of secretariats for both electoral commissions, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Election Complaints Commission (ECC). This follows a busy few weeks in which the election law was amended, all the old electoral commissioners were dismissed and new electoral officers voted in by the presidential […]

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From Sufi Sheikh to President: Historic mujahedin leader Mujaddedi passes away

Thomas Ruttig

With Sebghatullah Mujaddedi, another of the historic leaders of the mujahedin parties, which fought the Soviet occupation (1979-89), has died. Mujaddedi belonged to a famous family of Sufi leaders and for this spiritual position, he was widely known simply as with the honorific ‘Hazrat Saheb’ in Afghanistan. Having been severely ill for some time, Mujaddedi […]

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Afghanistan’s 2019 elections (2): Who is running to become the next president?

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission has published the preliminary list of the 2019 presidential candidates. The list includes 18 candidates. It should now go through a vetting process and a challenge and appeal period before it is finalised and published on 26 March, according to the electoral calendar. AAN’s researcher, Ali Yawar Adili, looks at the […]

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An Afghan women voter after casting her vote at polling centre in Daikundi. Photo: Ehsan Qaane, 2018.

The 2018 Election Observed (7) in Daikundi: The outstanding role of women

Ehsan Qaane

Like other provinces, the 2018 parliamentary election in Daikundi faced some technical, logistical and security challenges, but compared to other places these problems were limited. As a result, both the process and the outcome of the election have been largely uncontested. Women participation, both during voter registration and polling, was high: more women registered and […]

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The IEC members appear in a public meeting on 20 January to announce the final results of the October 2018 parliamentary elections for nine provinces. After more than three months, the IEC is still struggling to wrap up the results of last year’s elections, while it now needs to get ready to prepare for the presidential election, and three other votes, on 20 July 2019. Photo: IEC website

Afghanistan’s 2019 elections (1): The countdown to the presidential election has kicked off

Ali Yawar Adili

Afghanistan has just concluded its candidate nomination period for the presidential election, which has been moved from the initial date, 20 April, to 20 July 2019. The election will now involve four votes at the same time: provincial elections, district council elections, parliamentary elections in Ghazni province, and the presidential poll. With this, the country […]

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Voters waiting for their turn to vote inside Masjid ul-Reza Mosque polling centre, while some are voting in polling stations and candidate agents and observers are either sitting or walking around, doing their work. Photo: Author/2018

The 2018 Election Observed (6) in Herat: Insecurity, organisational shambles, alleged rigging

S Reza Kazemi

Many have praised the parliamentary elections in Herat province in the far west of Afghanistan as second only to the capital Kabul in terms of turnout. There was indeed considerable enthusiasm and determination to vote from those who could get to the polls, but they were a restricted number, mainly those living in the provincial […]

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The 2018 Election Observed (5) in Nuristan: Disfranchisement and lack of data

Jelena Bjelica Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

Organising elections in Nuristan, one of the most remote, under-served and unknown provinces, presents a severe challenge. Most villages are far from their nearest district centre and all of the districts are under some degree of Taleban control or influence. In two districts – Mandol and Du-Ab – people were fully deprived of their right […]

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Voters queue at Ali Baba High School in the provincial capital Parun, Paktika. Photo: Fazal Muzhary, October 2018.

The 2018 Election Observed (4) in Paktika: Pre-election fraud and relatively peaceful polling

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Where Paktika has been famous for ballot stuffing and mass proxy voting in previous elections, locals claim that this election was very different. A softer Taleban stance and a new slate of candidates, they say, allowed for more extensive campaigning. And the new electoral measures prevented rigging which, as a result, the electorate – including […]

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A women voter casting her vote in a polling centre in Kandahar City. Photo: Ali Mohammad Sabawoon, 2018.

The 2018 Election Observed (2) in Kandahar: Facing the same problems as the rest of the country

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

The people of Kandahar cast their vote on 27 October 2018, a week later than the rest of the country. Although no figures have been released, turnout appears to have been good in Kandahar city and Spin Boldak, as was expected, and patchy to nonexistent in most other districts. The IEC had stressed that the […]

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Election officials struggled with the new biometric verification devices, here being used in a polling centre in Daikundi. (Photo: Ehsan Qaane 2018)

Aftershocks of a Procedural Ambiguity: The IEC and ECC dispute over which votes to validate

Ali Yawar Adili

When the Independent Election Commission (IEC), at the last minute, introduced the use of biometric machines in the Wolesi Jirga election, it approved a procedure stipulating that the votes cast without the new system would be invalid. But it never decidedly clarified what it would do with the polling stations that failed to use them. Then, […]

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