Tag: Democratization

Pluralistic within Limits, but Not Democratic: Afghanistan’s political landscape before the 2014 elections

A look at the broad variety of (potential) presidential candidates seems to indicate some political pluralism. This is an illusion, however. Afghan analysts have recently argued that President Karzai’s political approach has hampered democratic party-based politics. This is only one side of the coin, argues AAN’s senior analyst Thomas Ruttig. He explains that the other […]

A Slow Start: Afghan voter registration in urban centres first

On 25 May 2013, voter registration for the 2014 presidential election officially kicked off throughout Afghanistan. Female registration has been slow, even though the process is for the moment limited to the provincial capitals. Also general turn-out has been quite low and the process has proven to be cumbersome. It is however still very early […]

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

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 […]

Elections or National Consensus: Which one wins?

The complexity of Afghanistan’s political spectrum and the traditionally overwhelming desire of Afghan leaders to keep power are major elements that have an effect on whether the political transition process – which continues simultaneous with the transition of security responsibilities – will be democratic. The ballot stuffing in the 2009 presidential and 2010 parliamentarian elections […]

Election Date Fixed, but Questions Remain on Next Steps

Afghanistan has a date for its next presidential elections: 5 April 2014. But today’s announcement by the Independent Election Commission of a timeline leading up to this date leaves questions open about its implementation. First, there are contradictory statements about whether the old, controversial voter cards will be used again. Second, the IEC aims at […]

Eyes on the Election: Two Afghan parties elect leaders

Two of Afghanistan’s most important political parties – Afghan Millat (Afghan Nation) and Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan – held leadership elections during the first days of October, Millat chose a new leader, Hezb, the incumbent. Although both parties belong to the unofficial government coalition in Kabul, they have recently joined a coalition advocating clean and timely […]

Students Oppose Re-naming University after Slain Ex-President

It is now a week since students at the University of Education began protesting over President Karzai’s decision to change its name to the Ustad (Professor) Burhanuddin Rabbani University. On Saturday, they managed to block MPs – and one of AAN’s researchers – from getting into parliament. The students have been cautiously – and rather […]

Parliament sacks key ministers: Two birds with one stone?

The Afghan Lower House of the parliament, in an unprecedented move, voted out the two key ministers of Defence and Interior, in a single session. While it is early to make predictions on who will succeed them and whether they will be kept on as acting ministers for a while, it is worth having a […]