Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Martine van Bijlert

The Last Minute Frenzy of Afghanistan’s Candidate Registration

Martine van Bijlert

The registration for Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential election continued until the very late hours of 6 October 2013. Although it was to be expected that the political horse-trading and deal-making would continue until the last minute, the scramble that finally ensued took everybody by surprise and mixed up all electoral alliances that had been forged in the weeks before. The AAN team […]

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Repeating Old Warnings: Brace yourselves, the elections are going to be quite a ride

Martine van Bijlert

Afghanistan is readying itself for its fifth election in ten years. For those who have gone through the previous rounds there is an immense sense of déjà vu: the preparations and technical discussions, the excitement surrounding the politicking, the questions asked too early (who are the frontrunners?), the attempts of international policymakers to make sense […]

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A Hasty Process: New Independent Election Commission announced

Gran Hewad Martine van Bijlert Thomas Ruttig

While the passing of the election-related laws took months, the selection and appointment of the crucial new Independent Election Commission (IEC) was finished within days. Although time was pressing, the haste raises doubts about the thoroughness of the process and the balance of the new nine-member body announced on Monday, 29 July 2013. AAN’s analysts […]

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Afghanistan’s New Electoral Laws: Changes and red flags

Martine van Bijlert

With last week’s ratification of the two electoral laws, Afghanistan finally knows which laws will govern its upcoming election. The new legislation clarifies how the elections are to be conducted, by whom and how they are to be appointed. Compared to the often tumultuous process that shaped them, the laws are fairly balanced and workable, […]

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Who will Control the 2014 Electoral Process: An update on Afghanistan’s electoral laws

Martine van Bijlert

With only nine months to go to the presidential and provincial council elections in April 2014, the two main laws that determine how Afghanistan’s elections should be conducted are still inching their way through the legislative process. It has been a long and winding road, accompanied by strong emotions and high stakes; this is, after […]

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Getting Ready for Change. Or: What to make of Fahim’s speech

Martine van Bijlert

On 11 June 2013 First Vice President Marshal Qasim Fahim gave a rare public speech, that has been reverberating in the media ever since. The speech was an impassioned and long-winded call for national consensus, but while he was at it Fahim managed to deliver a few thinly veiled threats, touch on a couple of […]

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AIHRC Commissioners Finally Announced

Martine van Bijlert Sari Kouvo

Finally, the new commissioners for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) have been announced. The announcement comes 19 months after President Hamed Karzai unilaterally removed three Commissioners in December 2011, with another killed in a Taleban attack and a fifth dismissed. The movement after such a long time on these long overdue appointments has […]

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Transition in Uruzgan (1): The fights that don’t get mentioned

Martine van Bijlert

The daily news in Afghanistan is dotted with reports of small-scale attacks, mostly on police posts, district centres and government convoys. These reports illustrate what is going on, but do not provide a full picture: a large proportion of attacks and incidents go unreported. Although the strategic importance of the individual scuffles tends to be […]

War and Peace Read more

Passing the Electoral Law: Four Controversies Down, Seven More to Go

Martine van Bijlert

The Wolesi Jirga has started to tackle the Electoral Law and is now going through the remaining controversial articles. The discussions so far have included shouting matches and near-fights, providing a taste of what may still come, particularly as the session inches towards what held the Parliament hostage for weeks in 2008: the issue of […]

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Pre-Electoral Consultations: the palace is looking for a new IEC head

Martine van Bijlert

On 9 April 2013 the President called a broad consultative meeting to discuss the selection of a new IEC chairman. The tumultuous term of the current head, Fazl Ahmad Manawi, ends this coming week. The main opposition representatives publicly declined the invitation, terming the meeting illegal, while others – including the generally pro-Karzai jihadi leaders […]

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Security at the Fringes: the case of Shujai in Khas Uruzgan

Martine van Bijlert

The build-up of the formal Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is one of the main pillars of the transition strategy. However, in practice many security responsibilities are, and will continue to be, held by a myriad of hybrid and auxiliary forces that often operate under unclear lines of authority. Observers and media have been describing […]

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The Kabul Bank Tribunal: an exercise in containment

Martine van Bijlert

The Kabul Bank crisis is complicated and multi-layered. Its tentacles reached into almost all centres of power and threatened to embarrass not just the architects of the scam, but practically everybody involved: businessmen, politicians, senior government officials, the various Presidential campaign teams, Parliamentarians, Central Bank staff, international advisers, donors – the list is long. Since […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more