Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Political Landscape

What about the voters (2)

Martine van Bijlert 5 min

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 a wise decision. It eases the tension in the country.” – manager in a large company in Balkh

“Let me tell you, I am afraid. I lived through all the wars, but I was young then. Now I am old and I don’t have the patience or the tolerance anymore… We had a lot of fraud in our election. Everywhere in the world there is fraud in elections, but other countries are more developed so their fraud is more developed. Here we somehow didn’t know how things work… I used to work in the IEC for many years, but in this election when I saw how dirty the process had become and how the voter cards were being distributed everywhere, I quit. I didn’t want to lose my good name for a salary… Karzai announced today that there will be a second round. He was in a bad situation and his speech was all over the place. What he said? Whatever he said, he was forced to say it. He had no choice… We’re going to have another election but we still have no candidate we would want to vote for.” – woman at a Kabul wedding

“The Karzai supporters in the south are very stressed because of the second round. They say that the foreigners are not giving Karzai his victory. But the maleks (village leaders) are very happy, because they will be making a lot of money again in the campaign. The common people, they will not vote. They did not vote before – and the boxes were still full – and they will not go now… We had hoped the election would bring change. That would have been good, but it didn’t happen. So for that reason maybe we should have a second round. Even though there are problems, you should give us a second round. So they will understand that the nation has a right and that you cannot just rule over it as you wish.” – southern tribal elder 

“I am calling from Daikondi. Our request is that the IEC staff in our province is changed. If not, the people will not be the owner of their vote and the second round will be the same as the first. The groups who are here will make sure that the candidate of their choice gets the vote. A coalition government would have been better. But whoever wins and becomes the new President, you should make sure he gives power to good and appropriate people, there should be criteria for that. Please pay attention to this and pass on our requests. We want the corrupt IEC people to be replaced or a coalition government.” – community leader from Daikondi

“There should be no coalition government. In that case it would have been better to ignore the fraud and give Karzai his victory. There is no coalition government in the law, it has no legitimacy. If we allow that now, then we can ignore the outcome of the vote every time. Now that the ECC has followed the law and forced the second round, we should follow the law until the end. It is the only criteria we have.” – young civil society activist in Kabul (just before the ECC announcement)

“So what is happening now with this second round, are they are really getting ready for it? That’s impossible. That’s really impossible. Things will never be ready in time. We won’t even be able to gather our observers in time.” – member of a provincial campaign team

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 a wise decision. It eases the tension in the country.” – manager in a large company in Balkh

“Let me tell you, I am afraid. I lived through all the wars, but I was young then. Now I am old and I don’t have the patience or the tolerance anymore… We had a lot of fraud in our election. Everywhere in the world there is fraud in elections, but other countries are more developed so their fraud is more developed. Here we somehow didn’t know how things work… I used to work in the IEC for many years, but in this election when I saw how dirty the process had become and how the voter cards were being distributed everywhere, I quit. I didn’t want to lose my good name for a salary… Karzai announced today that there will be a second round. He was in a bad situation and his speech was all over the place. What he said? Whatever he said, he was forced to say it. He had no choice… We’re going to have another election but we still have no candidate we would want to vote for.” – woman at a Kabul wedding

“The Karzai supporters in the south are very stressed because of the second round. They say that the foreigners are not giving Karzai his victory. But the maleks (village leaders) are very happy, because they will be making a lot of money again in the campaign. The common people, they will not vote. They did not vote before – and the boxes were still full – and they will not go now… We had hoped the election would bring change. That would have been good, but it didn’t happen. So for that reason maybe we should have a second round. Even though there are problems, you should give us a second round. So they will understand that the nation has a right and that you cannot just rule over it as you wish.” – southern tribal elder 

“I am calling from Daikondi. Our request is that the IEC staff in our province is changed. If not, the people will not be the owner of their vote and the second round will be the same as the first. The groups who are here will make sure that the candidate of their choice gets the vote. A coalition government would have been better. But whoever wins and becomes the new President, you should make sure he gives power to good and appropriate people, there should be criteria for that. Please pay attention to this and pass on our requests. We want the corrupt IEC people to be replaced or a coalition government.” – community leader from Daikondi

“There should be no coalition government. In that case it would have been better to ignore the fraud and give Karzai his victory. There is no coalition government in the law, it has no legitimacy. If we allow that now, then we can ignore the outcome of the vote every time. Now that the ECC has followed the law and forced the second round, we should follow the law until the end. It is the only criteria we have.” – young civil society activist in Kabul (just before the ECC announcement)

“So what is happening now with this second round, are they are really getting ready for it? That’s impossible. That’s really impossible. Things will never be ready in time. We won’t even be able to gather our observers in time.” – member of a provincial campaign team

Tags:

Elections conflict Electoral fraud Afghan voices

Authors:

Martine van Bijlert

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