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.

Supporters of some disqualified candidates including MullahTarakhel and Zardad Faryadi shut down the IEC headquarters in Kabul from 13 to 25 August in protest against the ECC’s decision to debar them from standing in 20 October elections. Photo credit: Tolonews

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (15): A contested disqualification of candidates

Ali Yawar Adili

The campaign by more than 2,600 candidates to secure votes in the Afghan parliamentary elections is in full swing, for over a week now. 35 would-be MPs, however, are not running. They have been barred from standing by the Electoral Complaints Commission, chiefly for ties to illegal armed groups. In this piece, AAN’s Ali Yawar […]

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On 29 August, the IEC reported that it had designed the ballot papers for 20 October poll and sent it to Dubai for printing. But no ballots designed for district council elections and Ghazni parliamentary elections. Photo: IEC.

Afghanistan Election Conundrum (14): District council and Ghazni parliamentary elections quietly dropped

Ali Yawar Adili

It has emerged that, without any announcement or formal decision taken, district council elections and Wolesi Jirga elections in Ghazni will not be taking place as planned on 20 October. A special committee of senior government officials had been tasked in early August to rule on an IEC proposal to delay both elections. It has […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (13): New voter registry too good to be true

Scott Warden

One of the main goals of Afghanistan launching a new voter registration process – a key provision of the 2014 National Unity Government Agreement – was to more accurately match the number of ballot papers to the number of voters in any given area. It was hoped this would reduce the opportunities for ballot stuffing. […]

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The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (12): Good news and bad news about district numbers

Thomas Ruttig

Afghan authorities have solved one of the most long-standing and consequential problems in the country‘s complex election system: the number of districts. It is 387. This is pending a final decision by parliament, as there are some so-called ‘temporary’ districts that could boost the number. If parliament takes this issue up, however, there is a […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (11): Electoral reform and the preparations for the 2018 elections – a summary

Ali Yawar Adili

Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections are scheduled for 20 October this year, three and a half years late. They were delayed so that the electoral system could be reformed – although what that delay achieved in terms of reforms, is questionable. The country’s first district elections are also still scheduled for the same day, although the Independent Election Commission […]

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Afghanistan Election Conundrum (10): Failure to hold the first ever district council elections?

Ali Yawar Adili

The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has proposed a delay in the district council elections, citing a lack of candidates. According to a report from the body, only a tenth of the country’s districts have enough male and female candidates to compete. The IEC listed several reasons as to why so few people wanted to stand: […]

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The IEC office in Ghazni city remained closed from 28 April to 27 June. A banner hanged by protesters on its gate says: “We Ghazni people do not want the bitter disaster of the past to be repeated in the Wolesi Jirga elections.”

The Afghanistan Election Conundrum (9): The 2010 Ghazni spectre rears its head again

Ali Yawar Adili

Protests continue in front of the Independent Election Commission’s office in Ghazni, though it was able to reopen on 27 June following a 63-day sit-in protest at its gates that shut it down, stymying election preparations throughout the province. This comes despite the IEC’s legally problematic about-face to split Ghazni province’s electoral constituencies for the […]

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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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