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.

The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (8): Controversies over voter registration

Ali Yawar Adili Thomas Ruttig

As the Independent Election Commission (IEC) struggles to prepare for parliamentary and district council elections due to be held on 20 October 2018, one key prerequisite – voter registration – is not going well. Registration turnout, so far, has been very low, in part, due to security fears stemming from a new system aimed at […]

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Inside and Outside the System: New AAN report on Afghanistan’s political parties published

Thomas Ruttig

The role of political parties in Afghanistan’s highly centralised presidential system, with only limited parliamentary checks and balances, is an important yardstick by which to measure how the country has fared in its attempts to democratise in the post-Taleban era. This new AAN thematic report, in cooperation with the German Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), looks […]

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Tanks in front of the presidential palace on 28 April 1978, one day after the Saur coup. Photo: Cleric77, Wikipedia - Creative Commons 3.0

An April Day That Changed Afghanistan 1: Four decades after the leftist takeover

Thomas Ruttig

Forty years ago, Afghanistan experienced its second military coup d’état within five years. The authoritarian President Muhammad Daud had seized power in 1973 without much attention abroad and even little notice in Afghanistan – Daud was a sardar (prince) and seen as just another new king, although he proclaimed a republic. It was the second […]

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Entrance to the main polling centre for men in Gardez city during the 2009 presidential elections. Photo: Thomas Ruttig 2009.

The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (7): A deficient polling centre assessment

Ali Yawar Adili

A fundamental question ahead of any Afghan election is where polling centres are located. In the past, they have been located in ways that deliberately disenfranchised some voters. New regulations designed to prevent this are aimed at making sure locations are ‘balanced’, ie there are now strict criteria which should ensure centres are near voters, […]

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IEC along with some ECC members announce a delay in parliamentary and district council elections, setting 20 October 2018 as the new date.

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (6): Another new date for elections

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission has set 20 October 2018 as the new date for Afghanistan’s parliamentary and district council elections. This comes after two earlier dates were missed. The Commission has also announced that it will start to register voters on Saturday, 14 April 2018. As AAN’s Ali Yawar Adili reports, though, the later date […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (5): A late demand to change the electoral system

Ali Yawar Adili

A group of influential political parties have called for a change to the electoral system. This emerged out of the ongoing dispute between one of the parties, predominantly Tajik Jamiat-e Islami, and the presidential palace over the contested dismissal of Balkh Governor Atta Muhammad Nur. The group wants political parties to have a greater role […]

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A poster from the Afghanistan Central Registration Authorities’s facebook page, posted in December 2017, which promotes the e-tazkera for good governance. The roll-out of electronic cards in Afghanistan on 15 February 2018, steered a heated political debate. Credit: ACCRA Facebook page.

The E-Tazkera Rift: Yet another political crisis looming?

Ali Yawar Adili Jelena Bjelica

The roll out of electronic national identity cards, also known as the e-tazkera has begun, heating up a contentious political debate, which had been simmering since 2013. That debate centres on whether the new ID should mention the holder’s ethnicity, and his or her nationality using the term ‘Afghan’ and in particular whether the words […]

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Sayed Hafizullah Hashemi, who has been appointed as the new member of the IEC, is being interviewed by a panel led by President Ghani. The interview was conducted at the presidential palace on 13 January 2018 when Hashemi picked.

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (4): New controversies surrounding the appointment of a new electoral commissioner

Ali Yawar Adili

The need to appoint a new member of the IEC came after its chairman, Najibullah Ahmadzai, was sacked by President Ashraf Ghani on 15 November 2017. The president ordered the Selection Committee, a body responsible for shortlisting candidates for membership of the IEC and ECC, to be reconvened. The body shortlisted three candidates, from which […]

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For the first time, an MP has accused a fellow MP of corruption. The case eventually went to the Attorney General, but only after the vast majority of other MPs voted to give the accused immunity from prosecution. Photo: Pajhwok archive photo.

Lost in Procedure: How a corruption case in the Afghan parliament was (not) dealt with

Jelena Bjelica Rohullah Sorush

The lower house of the Afghan Parliament – the Wolesi Jirga – has a long-standing and unflattering reputation for corruption, which ranges from members of parliament receiving bribes for votes of confidence to arranging lucrative contracts. The latest allegation, however, was the first time that an MP had accused a fellow MP of corruption. This […]

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On 11 Dalw 1395 (30 January 2017), the IEC had put the options for electoral districts to consultation with civil society organisations. Photo: IEC

The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (3): The dilemma of electoral constituencies

Ali Yawar Adili

It looks increasingly unlikely that the next parliamentary (and district council) elections can be held as planned on 7 July 2018. Although the Independent Election Commission (IEC) continues its preparations for the polls, important questions remain unresolved. Due to a lack of consensus, the electoral system remains unchanged, but the IEC has been grappling with […]

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Narges Nehan, President Ghani's nominee for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, was the only one among twelve minister candidates who was denied a vote of confidence by the Afghan lower house on 6 December 2017. Here, when she was introduced as acting minister in March 2017. Photo: ToloNews

Afghanistan Has Now a Constitutional Cabinet: Eleven minister candidates received votes of confidence

AAN Team Thomas Ruttig

For almost a year, more than half of Afghanistan’s cabinet members were in an acting minister capacity only, putting their legitimacy into question. In late November 2017, the President finally had 12 minister candidates introduced to parliament. They faced votes of confidence on 4 December 2017. All but one – the only woman – passed. […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (2): A tight date and a debate about technology

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) has announced 7 July 2018 as the date for the next parliamentary (and district councils) elections. It has started the preparations for the elections, but has been grappling with a lack of clarity about the budget and decisions about the use of technology in the elections. These issues […]

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