The questionable government legitimacy amid unknown fate of election

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 03:19 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 336 times

The government’s behavior has cloaked the fate of upcoming elections in uncertainty. New developments unfold with each passing day that show the government still lacks the political will to keep its promise to carry out the parliamentary and district council election on the date it lately announced. The constant delays in elections come as the legitimacy of all three branches of the Government of Afghanistan is seriously under question. The Executive Power is led by individuals who rose to power based on a political deal than the votes of the people; the legal term of Wolesi Jirga as the main part of the Legislature has already expired, while a third of the senators are appointed by the president, and the Judiciary is also incomplete. 


Any further delay in election is on no account justifiable amid the key flaws surrounding the legitimacy of the government. When a government cannot conduct only parliamentary and district council elections after three years of work, how it should claim major achievements. In addition to the government, the National Assembly and the international community are also to be blamed for the delay in election. Neither the National Assembly has pressed the government to hold the election, nor has the international community that calls itself the advocate of democracy in Afghanistan taken any actions leading to election or transparency in it. 

Transparency is a key indicator in election, yet it should not be used to justify further delay in election anymore. The government has long blamed the delay in elections on electoral reforms, as a result of which neither the electoral system was reformed, nor election held as scheduled. The government limited its electoral reform agenda to only the replacement of election commissioners, while flaws in the election systems are still unaddressed, and there is no guarantee to prevent a potential dispute similar to that in 2014 in the upcoming election. Even there are a lot of questions about the independence of the electoral commissions, and many political groups accuse the government of meddling in election affairs, bringing the dismissal of the chairman of Independent Election Commission (IEC) as a textbook example. 

As the only logical way of peaceful transition of power, it is not the responsibility of the people, civil society organizations and international organizations to press the government to carry out election. If the parliamentary and district council election is not held in 2018, there is no guarantee that leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG) won’t look for an excuse to postpone the  presidential election in 2019. 


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