Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

Waiting and watching

Martine van Bijlert

So I am not in Afghanistan (no, not evacuated – just no reason to come rushing back once the second round was called off). Not part of the local speculation game on who is going to be part of the new cabinet and who will get which positions and based on which deal – although […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 40: The President has been elected

Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan has a new president. After several hours of deliberation on how to respond to Abdullah’s pull-out (and after initial statements that Saturday’s second round would go ahead as planned) the IEC announced today that as Karzai had received most votes in the first round and no longer had a competitor in the second, he […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 38: I think we should be worried now

Martine van Bijlert

It is eleven days since President Karzai, flanked by a posse of international envoys and ambassadors, announced the date of the second round of the 2009 elections. Since then the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and UNDP ELECT have pushed ahead with the logistical preparations, releasing election material to the far corners of the country and […]

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What about the voters (2)

Martine van Bijlert

What do people think? Now that a million votes have been disqualified and the second round has been announced. Another collection of conversation fragments. “I am worried that something will go wrong with the elections. Many people are worried. So Karzai’s acceptance of the results is good. He has decided to avoid confrontation. It is […]

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AAN Election Blog 37: The next chapter of the conclusion (2)

Martine van Bijlert

So Karzai announced. His desire to have a second round, so that the bad taste of the first one could be washed away. His pride over being one of the two candidates running in that second round. His appreciation for the Afghan nation and how they participated in the election. His gratitude to the internationals […]

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AAN Election Blog 36: The next chapter of the conclusion

Martine van Bijlert

The ECC has released its decisions and in doing so has laid to rest the doubts or speculations that they may bend under pressure to fudge or withhold. A scroll through the well documented findings confirms the widespread reports of fraud and provides a fascinating read of what the elections must have looked like in […]

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What about the voters

Martine van Bijlert

What about the voters (and the non-voters). Maybe we should listen to them as well. A small collection of random conversation fragments. “Before the election I called the IEC representative in my area and asked him to arrange votes for [the presidential candidate I was supporting]. He asked me to whom in the provincial council […]

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AAN Election Blog 35: The fog of an election result

Martine van Bijlert

Since the results of the ECC investigation have become roughly and widely known (47-48% for Karzai) the “process” has disintegrated into a large number of scattered negotiations and confidential meetings of which the status is unclear. So everybody is phoning each other, swapping the fragments of what they have been told by so and so […]

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AAN Election Blog 34: Rumours of a Run-off

Martine van Bijlert

The Afghan electoral process has gone into yet another phase. The audit results were passed onto the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) a week ago. They have been endlessly mulling on how to calculate the number of polling stations that are to be annulled and are expected to hand over their conclusions to the Independent Electoral […]

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What the preliminary results tell us (3): Logar, Baghlan and Uruzgan

Martine van Bijlert

Another brief overview of what you can find when going through the preliminary election results in which a few simple calculations illustrate how far some people will go, acquiring thousands of votes often in very limited localities. No wonder voters feel their vote no longer counts. So let’s take a brief look at some results […]

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What the preliminary results tell us (2): Nimruz provincial council

Martine van Bijlert

The study of the provincial council results was initially prompted by a series of phone calls from Nimruz by unsuccessful candidates and upset voters. Their complaints focused on a handful of candidates who had provisionally won the provincial elections and who were considered unsuited for the task – a big smuggler, a person with no […]

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AAN Election Blog 33: So what do we do with the audit?

Martine van Bijlert

The audit has come to an end. So now… proportion… sample… fraudulent… calculate… disqualify… certify… And then we will have a result. And I am sorry for everybody who is feeling almost relieved, but I really need to say this: Can we please stop pretending that “the process” will give us “a result”. That we […]

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