Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

Portraits of Ghani and Abdullah. Photo c/o Tolonews.

The National Unity Government’s Elusive Cabinet

Martine van Bijlert

On day seventy-two of Afghanistan’s national unity government, the new cabinet still looks to be weeks away, with the country’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) locked in protracted discussions over who to appoint and how that should be decided. The composition of the cabinet will be a first, crucial test of what Afghanistan’s new […]

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Elections 2014 (54): Provincial council results creaking under the weight of manipulation

Martine van Bijlert

The provincial council vote is finally over. It has been fully overshadowed by the drawn-out and contentious presidential election – as could be expected and has been the case in the past as well. Attention dwindled as election fatigue crept in, which meant that its separate audit and complaints processes were almost exclusively followed by […]

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Elections 2014 (48): Key documents underwriting the electoral audit

Martine van Bijlert

While the Abdullah team has already dismissed both the audit and its outcome, the IEC still needs to finalise the process to arrive at a new result. As a background to the audit and its tumultuous history, AAN has gathered a number of key documents in one place. These include the three main IEC decisions […]

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Afghanistan's electoral audit enters its final, critical phase. Photo: Martine van Bijlert, Kabul, August 2014.

Elections 2014 (47): Audit enters its final precarious phase

Martine van Bijlert

While the two teams are trying to revive the political negotiations, the electoral audit is both nearing its end –with around 95 per cent of the ballot boxes reviewed– and moving into its most critical phase: deciding on the findings and arriving at a new result. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has already convened five […]

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Discussions during the "special audit", while the candidates' agents were still present. Kabul, August 2014 Photo: Martine van Bijlert

Elections 2014 (46): Déjà vu – Abdullah pulls out, process continues

Martine van Bijlert

What has the Abdullah team been playing at, pulling out of the audit again? Hard to say – but it is a risky all-or-nothing gamble, writes Martine van Bijlert. She summarises what has been happening over the past week, looking at the candidates’ behaviour and possible motives behind their strategies, but also at the ‘progress’ […]

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Elections 2014 (45): Solving audit problems by creating new ones

Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan’s drawn-out election continues to keep a very large number of people very busy. And although there has been progress – both on the political and the technical side – this has mainly been achieved by delaying or isolating key discussion points and contentious decisions. The audit has finally started speeding up, but only after […]

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Elections 2014 (44): Key documents underwriting the electoral agreement

Martine van Bijlert

To provide background to the recent agreement between the two presidential candidates brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry (see here and here), AAN has gathered the texts of relevant statements in one place. These include, first and foremost, the joint declaration agreed and signed by both candidates on 8 August 2014, as well […]

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Dr Abdullah and Dr Ghani signing their first bilateral agreement on 8 August 2014.

2014 Elections (43): The second installment of a Kerry-brokered agreement

Martine van Bijlert

US Secretary of State John Kerry made his second visit to Kabul in a month, in a repeated attempt to help Afghanistan finally arrive at an election outcome – preferably before the NATO summit in early September. The press conference at the end of his visit, together with both presidential candidates, was in many ways […]

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Elections 2014 (38): Candidate positioning after the preliminary results

Martine van Bijlert

A day after the announcement of the preliminary results, the US and the UN have sought to temper the shock and anger in the Abdullah camp, as well as the joy among Ghani’s supporters, by stressing that the results are not final. Both Abdullah and Ghani have sought public positions that could allow for a […]

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Elections 2014 (35): A delay, an audit and a change of tone

Kate Clark Martine van Bijlert

The Independent Electoral Commission’s delay of the preliminary results of the presidential run-off, from 2 to 7 July 2014, and its decision to audit almost 2000 polling stations that show possible signs of ballot stuffing, seems to have signalled a change in the electoral mood. Whereas days before the commission still showed signs of intending […]

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Elections (28): Last minute procedural changes to pacify candidate complaints

Martine van Bijlert

In the run-up to the second round vote, the Independent Election Commission (IEC), has made some changes to how it will run the vote this time. This has mainly been in response to complaints and pressure from the two remaining candidates. The IEC has increased the number of polling stations, has fired several thousand of […]

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Elections 2014 (24): The IECC’s performance addressing provincial council complaints

Martine van Bijlert Qayoom Suroush

While most observers are focused on the upcoming second round of the presidential election, the process surrounding the provincial council vote is still ongoing. The Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) finished its open sessions last week and, in response to allegations of manipulation by IEC staff, ordered a widespread recount of votes, which had already […]

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