AAN in Media

Experts See Dim Prospects for Democracy in Afghanistan


The Media Line, 14 November 2019

AAN’s Kate Clark is quoted in this article about competing claims of victory and an on-and-off recount in the September 28 presidential election:

“It was a choice between two incumbents, neither of whom people are very excited about,” Kate Clark, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, a nonpartisan research organization, told The Media Line. “[The votes of] people staying at home did not seem to be votes against democracy per se, but what was on offer in this election.” (…)

As it is foreign aid that fills much of Afghanistan’s coffers, Clark says that many Afghani citizens believe elections are manipulated by the US, the country’s largest bankroller.

“Foreign donors [are seen as having] more sway over elected officials than the average citizen,” she explained. (…)

According to Clark, the likelihood of American-style democracy in Afghanistan is slim because the government is not beholden to its citizens.

“The government is dependent not on taxes… but on foreign aid,” she stated. “Countries that are dependent on foreign aid for their revenue tend not to be democracies.”

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