Yet another delay in election amid extreme skepticism of govt’s will

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 03:30 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 197 times

The concerns about parliamentary and district council election finally came true as the Independent Election Commission (IEC) admitted that it was impossible to conduct the election on July 7, 2018, a date IEC announced for the last time after missing several previous deadlines. The recently completed election commission said the poll may be delayed for three to four months as they have lost the same period of time following the last announcement of the parliamentary and district council election timeline. IEC has also said they were working to set another feasible election date.



Although the Commission predicts a delay of three to four months in election, that if happens can make the election impossible to be carried out taking into account the weather conditions of most of the regions of Afghanistan by then. Implementing a major process such as election during winter seems impractical in most of the country. Thus, the delay of three to four months in election is just a pretext; the real issue is that the government doesn’t have the political will to conduct election. 


The parliamentary and district council election has been delayed several times in one name or another. There was an assumption that the election may be held together with presidential election in 2019, but actions taken by the National Unity Government (NUG) show it doesn’t have the intention to hold even the presidential election in 2019. If the government cannot carry out parliamentary and district council election in over three years, how it can simultaneously hold four different elections in its remaining term, especially through a commission whose almost all members lack relevant experience, and when all problems and flaws in the electoral system remain unaddressed. 


The main problem delaying election is the absence of government’s political will, which is well represented by its actions leading to intentional delays in election over the last three years. Now, the postponement of parliamentary and district council election is not the only fear. If government can create pretexts for delaying that election, there is no guarantee it will not do so for the presidential election. Poll is a key tenet of democracy, as well as a priority, so if government leaders ignore it for the sake of their individual interests, the civil society, people and international community must stand out against them. Election is the only way to transfer power peacefully in the country, and a great achievement of the last decade and a half which Afghan people will on no account agree to lose.


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