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Feature, Afghanistan Cannot Expect Transparent Elections

Feature: Afghanistan Cannot Expect Transparent Election

One of the peculiarities of the elections, which is also enshrined in the law, is its independence and transparency. If any of these features is not properly implemented in the election, it could mean that the outcome can be controversial and questionable.
The Independent Election Commission (IEC) Afghanistan has said that more than 2,000 polling stations will remain closed on election day due to security concerns. This is a figure that is now out of the list of polling stations because security forces are likely unable to guarantee the security of these stations. But after the experience of past elections, it is likely that dozens of other polling stations will not be open on election day for various reasons.
In last year’s parliamentary elections, even in some areas, election was held for two days because of technical problems with biometric machines and because the incorrect voter lists were sent. The election process suffered major setback because of these issues.
In the meantime, it should also be kept in mind that election fraud in Afghanistan is inevitable. it is impossible to hold transparent election in this country. In particular, some candidates who have access to government facilities do not hesitate to cheat.
President Ghani had no government authority in the last presidential election, but he had enough support from government agencies to make the election a hoax by widespread and shameful fraud. The name of the Afghan election has since been tied to the ‘Sheep Voting’ and has undermined public confidence in the popular process. Ghani is at the forefront of political power in Afghanistan with his election team.
Zia al-Haq Amarkhail, the former head of the IEC secretariat and dozens of other members of the IEC and the Election Complaints Commission, are on the scene as advisers and close aides to Ghani. Instead of being tried in jail, Amarkhail has been appointed as Ghani’s adviser and aide, and given his influence within the electoral commission, this time he is preparing to hold a ‘Sheep Voting’. This time, along with Amarkhail, a large group of government officials in Kabul and other provinces are engaged in campaigns and to cheat in favor of Ghani. In addition, it must be remembered that some other candidates also have the potential to use fraud to their advantage.
When a person in power has made every effort to cheat, there is no better expectation than others. Another feature of the election that guarantees that it is free from fraud is its transparency. But unfortunately, this principle has been largely ignored in all Afghanistan elections. Allegations are now being raised by candidates that the biometric system faces challenges and cannot guarantee the transparency of the election. It is even said that biometric machines have dramatically increased the likelihood of election fraud. What, then, would be the result of an election that is not transparent and free from fraud?
The result is undoubtedly what we saw in the last presidential election. The result of a non-transparent election will not be acceptable to any candidate, and this time the chances are that it will get worse than year 2014. On the other hand, there is also the Taliban’s challenge to the elections this time. If the group had not sought to undermine the process in the last election, it would now severely damage the process because of the peace talks and the position it has taken in the face of the election. The Taliban have already warned that they will not allow elections in their areas of control. This warning is very dangerous and serious, and it is likely to reduce presence of voters in poll station.
The government also has little program to secure the elections. It is even more desirable for Ghani to hold elections in insecurity and in a confined space, especially now that foreign forces are reluctant to secure the election and Ghani’s pretext is ready for a lack of national security. With that in mind, if we have an election this year, it would be more challenging, dangerous, and more engineered than the previous presidential elections. Afghan society, both politicians and ordinary people, must now be prepared to face the challenges and dangers of elections, which have the potential to make Afghanistan fall into an irreversible anarchy.
(Sahar News)

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