The need to determine fate of election

Wednesday, 28 December 2016 03:47 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 99 times

The conduct of both the Afghan government and international community is worrisome and questionable. Although the government has repeatedly pledged to carry out the parliamentary and district council elections, no practical steps have been taken so far. The government’s electoral reforms have still been limited to the replacement of election commissioners. Neither a timetable for the parliamentary and district council elections has been announced nor have any arrangements necessary for the voting been made. 

 

Following the 2014 presidential election which became bitterly disputed due to allegations of fraud, Afghans almost lost their faith in this democratic process, thereby requiring the government to take concrete actions in coordination with the international community to revive people’s trust in balloting, but that did not happen. The government’s slogans of electoral reforms only culminated in the appointment of new Independent Election Commission and Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) members, while the nation wanted an overhaul of electoral system, because only that cannot guarantee the transparency of election if a flawed system is in place. 

The Parliament, especially the Wolesi Jirga (lower house), also doesn’t show a strong reaction against the delay in election because the lawmakers are happy to continue work as most of them are individuals who may not get reelected next time. Ergo, the longer the election is delayed, the happier they will be. 

 

People also point the finger at the international community because it did not bring enough pressure on the government to hold the election on time. The power-sharing agreement of the National Unity Government (NUG) was brokered by the international community, more particularly and predominantly the United States, United Nations and European Union so that is why they are also responsible for the implementation of the deal. They should have impelled the government to honor its commitments, especially those related to elections and electoral reforms. 

Given the dissatisfaction of people with the performance of both the Parliament and government, the fate of election should be ascertained and solid actions taken thereof. The postponement of election leads to more chaos and uncertainty, and erodes the public’s trust in election, which on no account serves the national interests.