Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Thomas Ruttig

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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AAN Election Blog No. 14: Impressions from P2K (2): Floor Crossing and an Afghan Perspective

Thomas Ruttig

For someone who is used to think of Pashtuns as wild big guys with big beards and big noses, armed with Kalashnikovs, a stroll through the bazaar of Gardez today must have been shocking. With not only the presidential elections (on 20 August) but also the holy fasting month of Ramazan (on 21 August – […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 6: An Ink Issue Again?

Thomas Ruttig

During the 2004 presidential election, ink became an issue. Enraged losing candidates went as far as to demand that the vote be annulled because the ink supposedly did not work. Will it become an issue again? In 2004, the Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) – composed of Afghans and internationals – had purchased indelible ink […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 5: The Best Candidates’ Posters (1)

Thomas Ruttig

In a loose series, AAN will introduce some of the best election posters and give some background on the respective candidates. Today: Foruzan Fana – positive vibrations and an unresolved murder. Walking or driving through the streets of Kabul is quite interesting these days. The 38 presidential and over 300 Kabul provincial council candidates’ posters […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 4: The Bag and the Donkey

Thomas Ruttig

The balance of Karzai‘s five year tenure for Afghanistan is devastating – but it is unfair to blame him alone. Indeed, the general framework has considerably improved in comparison to the Taleban era. The country is no more an outcast in the world community but receives unprecedented international support. There are NGOs, political parties and […]

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AAN Election Blog No. 1: Rockets over Kabul

Thomas Ruttig

Two days ago, my local radio station called me to describe how I experienced the recent rocket attack on Kabul early Tuesday (4 August) morning. I hoped I could explain a bit about this but soon the conversation switched to the Taleban, the ceasefire with their Badghis branch and to the question whether there were […]

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