Uncertain fate of election major challenge

Sunday, 19 November 2017 03:25 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 287 times

The National Unity Government (NUG) has not taken any action during the first three years of its five-year term that can instill hope in people for their future. Instead of progress, Afghans witness a reverse trend in all areas, from tenuous political and security situation to economic challenges. The president paves the way for violation of laws than gradual rule of law as he had promised. One recent instance of the president’s malpractice is the removal of IEC chief Najibullah Ahmadzai. He was fired at the behest of the presidential palace in a way some lawyers describe it as illegal. The electoral commissioners decided to have Ahmadzai sacked due to pressures from ARG. Meanwhile, the IEC chief said his resistance against, and prevention of the interference of ARG and Office of CEO led to his termination. 


The government decision about Ahmadzai represents the vision of government leaders about election. While the election has been delayed for quite a long time, the removal of IEC head just nine months prior to the election date is yet another obstacle to the election, and is intended to descend the democratic process into a new limbo. In addition to further postponing the election, the move will result in public distrust because when IEC chief can be sacked without any legal reasons, how the people will trust the independence of electoral commissions, and impartiality of government leaders. 

The National Unity Government spent its first three years on hollow electoral reform slogans. The flawed electoral system, which was the main culprit for the long-running dispute over the results of 2014 presidential elections, was not rectified, and instead only electoral officials were replaced. It was described by the government as electoral reforms, while problems in the electoral system are not yet tackled. It is impossible to ensure transparency in election when these problems are still there, and the electoral system is not reformed. Even if more committed and competent individuals become IEC officials, electoral fraud and dispute won’t be prevented if there are no genuine reforms. 


The unclear fate of election as the key principle of democracy is a big challenge which shakes the pillars of the regime. If government leaders cannot do anything for the prosperity of the nation as they did not, they should at least clear the path for a peaceful and democratic transition of power to another government. 


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