Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

Flash from the Past: Elections under Fire (12 Sept 2008)

Thomas Ruttig

All sides involved – the Kabul government, its Western allies, donors and the United Nations – pretend that almost everything’s in order at the Hindukush, apart from small hick-ups. The reality, however, looks different. In the coming year, Afghans are supposed to elect a president for the second times since the fall of the Taleban […]

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UNODC Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging – With One Eye Closed

Thomas Ruttig

U.N. Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging’, reads a headline in the 2 September issue of the New York Times. Now the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) got it. Or did it? The headline reminds of a 2008 World Bank paper (William A. Byrd, Responding to Afghanistan’s Opium Economy Challenge, The World Bank, South Asia […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 29: ‘A fraud would go unnoticed’

Thomas Ruttig

Imagine it is election-day and someone else casts your vote. It is possible because in many polling stations no one will ask for your ID card. Malalai Nassir (not her real name) was flabbergasted. When she went to the ballot box on election-day, the electoral staff did not check her ID card. No, that’s not […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 28: Two Paktias?

Thomas Ruttig

A member of the US PRT in Paktia also experienced that amazingly brilliant blue sky over Paktia. But the elections she saw were quite different from what I have experienced there. When I went to the polling site in Tandar village in Paktia, some 22 kilometres away from the provincial capital Gardez, on election-day on […]

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Präsident Karzai vor zweiter Amtszeit? Sicherheitsprobleme und Legitimitätsdefizite bei den Präsidentschaftswahlen in Afghanistan

Thomas Ruttig

Thomas Ruttig. Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik: Berlin, SWP-Aktuell 2009/A, August 2009 (President Karzai before a second term? Security problems and legitimacy deficits of Afghanistan‘s presidential elections – in German) Incumbent Hamed Karzai aims at a second term of office in Afghanistan‘s presidential elections on 20 August. A lack of alternatives, his astute positioning and use […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 25: Balm for Election Sores

Thomas Ruttig

The partial results presented by the Independent Election Commission (IEC) in a well-attended press conference today in Kabul are mainly meant to calm down the tense atmosphere of accusations and counter-accusations that has developed since E-Day by applying a dose of transparency. It does not say much about what the outcome of the elections will […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 24: Stuffing and Counting in Paktia

Thomas Ruttig

A few days after the election, Paktia is in counting mode. Results from the districts trickle in and are collected and reconcilied by the different candidates’ campaigns. Also reports about a lot of irregularities are coming in, despite the low coverage of independent election observers. On the first two days after the election, Afghans in […]

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A clarification

Thomas Ruttig

Some German-language media have quoted me over the past days as saying that the turn-out during the Afghan presidential elections was ‘low except in the urban centres’. This seems to indicate that I spoke about all of Afghanistan. In fact, I said that this assessment only referred to South-Eastern Afghanistan, with the four provinces of […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 22: E-Day in P2K

Thomas Ruttig

Frankly, when I went to bed on E-Day eve in Gardez, on Wednesday, I wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea to leave the UNAMA compound the next day to watch polling sites in Paktia province. A lot of people looked very sceptical when I mentioned this idea. Gardez centre was the maximum, almost […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 16: Impressions from P2K (3): Taleban Shut Down Bazaars in Paktika and Khost

Thomas Ruttig

The scenery was a bit like in those Westerns where the population has got wind that the really bad guys would ride into town soon. The sun was scorching down almost vertically, the wind drove plumes of dust and waste plastic bags down the main road while a single motorbike with two young chaps curved […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 15: The Best Candidates’ Posters (3) – War & Peace Movements

Thomas Ruttig

The prize for the boldest election poster goes to Shahnawaz Tanai, another presidential candidate from the South-East, from Khost province to be precise where his Tani tribe dwells in the dry plains outside Khost town ‘where only stones grow in the field’ as a local friend describes it and in the chromite-(holding) hills to the […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 12: Impressions from P2K (1): Flying with Both Hands

Thomas Ruttig

Gardez makes true of its name – ‘dusty’. The capital of the South-eastern province of Paktia’s skyline, with the two characteristic cony hills and the Bala Hissar, the fort, on a third hill under which Buddhist remains are suspected are barely visible in the dust that is driven by the afternoon wind over the plateau […]

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