Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan´s Second Presidential Vote; How to Deal with a Flawed Election

Martine van Bijlert

Martine van Bijlert, In: Afghanistan 1979-2009: In the Grip of Conflict (e-book), Middle East Institute, Washington, December 2009. The chapter Afghanistan´s Second Presidential Vote; How to Deal with a Flawed Election can be found on the MEI website. Full text of the chapter is also available here on the AAN website.

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The Cabinet list

Martine van Bijlert

For those of you – sitting under the Christmas tree – who have not been able to find the complete Cabinet list yet, please find it below. With some of the most basic facts added. Corrections and additions, as always, welcome. 1. Minister of Defence, Rahim Wardak – Pashtun from Wardak, military academy in Kabul and US, […]

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Rearranging election outcomes while the IEC archive burns

Martine van Bijlert

While people across the world are wrapping their last gifts and doing their last Christmas shopping, Afghanistan still has unfinished election business. And it is clear that we haven’t seen the last of all the bizarre twists and turns. (1)  The latest twist is a mysterious fire in the IT department of the Independent Electoral […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Thoughts and worries

Martine van Bijlert

There is a lot to worry about in Afghanistan. The politics of government, cabinet and parliament. The local power play of oppression and violence. The future, the family, where the country is headed. How bad the winter is going to be. Some conversation fragments: “How things are going? I am disappointed and optimistic at the […]

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The confused fight against corruption

Martine van Bijlert

This morning saw the opening of a three-day national conference to identify “best practices and effective measures” in the fight against corruption. There will be workshops attended by government officials and civil society actors from all over the country, but today I only stayed for the opening statements in the grand hall of the Ministry […]

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Parliament getting ready for the new Cabinet

Martine van Bijlert

Several weeks have passed since the President’s inauguration on 19 November and the waiting is now for the announcement of the new Cabinet – an event that as usual has been imminent for quite a while. The Parliament has delayed its recess, which was to begin on 6 December, so that it can vote on […]

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Finishing the unfinished election (2): Panjshir and Kapisa

Martine van Bijlert

Not all provinces show signs of a very uneven rate of disqualification between the presidential en provincial council elections, like we saw in Helmand Khost or Farah. Take for instance Panjshir. In Panjshir the number of votes excluded in the presidential and provincial council elections were more or less comparable: 4,750 out of 44,850 votes […]

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Finishing the unfinished election (1): Helmand, Khost and Farah

Martine van Bijlert

As the final provincial council results are being finally and gradually released, an early analysis of the figures shows that the fraud in the provincial council election has, unsurpisingly, been largely left untouched. The IEC audit that disqualified over a million votes focused solely on the presidential election and the need to arrive at some […]

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Small stories from the province (1): A very high-ranking dog

Martine van Bijlert

“Did you hear about the Australian dog that was lost?” We had been discussing everything from the latest tribal gossip to the final announcement of the provincial council and the recent local appointments. And now, as we are packing up to go, there was apparently still a story of a dog. I had noticed the reports in […]

Context and Culture Read more

MEI paper repost: How to respond to a flawed election

Martine van Bijlert

The Middle East Institute released its ‘Viewpoints’ special edition on Afghanistan yesterday. It contains 53 short essays by leading experts and practicioners on Afghanistan’s recent history, including several AAN members. The paper below is a repost of Martine van Bijlert’s contribution (without the footnotes). Afghanistan’s Second Presidential Vote; How to Respond to a Flawed Election […]

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NDS detention – not just a Canadian problem

Martine van Bijlert

Former diplomat to Kabul, Richard Colvin, caused quite a stir in Canadian politics with his testimony to a parliamentary committee on the Afghan mission on 18 November 2009. Colvin described how he repeatedly alerted his superiors to the fact that prisoners handed over to the NDS (National Directorate of Security) were likely to face torture […]

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Corruption, corruption, corruption

Martine van Bijlert

Karzai’s international backers have made no secret of what their priorities for his new administration were: transfer of security responsibilities, reconciliation, economic development, relations with the neighbours, and corruption, corruption, corruption. They were well served by Karzai’s inaugural speech: everything was included – reason for a (small) collective sigh of relief. Another potential confrontation, with […]

International Engagement Read more