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Current Afghan Government Setup, opportunities and threats

Feature: The Current Afghan Government Setup – Opportunities and Challenges

Throughout the 2019 presidential election in Afghanistan, there was little attention from the international community, lack of funding, differences among political leaders, poor management, technical problems, differences of opinion among some members of the election commission, and concerns on election complaints. On the other hand, one of the purposes to hold election was to strengthen the democratic setup and provide circumstances wherein people could vote differently than the previous three elections – free of fraud and irregularities.
Unfortunately, as observed, the election exacerbated the problems because it was dominated by the lack of widespread public participation, the candidates’ distrust of the election, and the accusations that the ruling team was using government facilities to lay the groundwork for new challenges and crisis. As soon as the election took place, President Ashraf Ghani was accused of fraud and misconduct, which included fraud on election day, injustice in the distribution of ballots, changing biometric devices, non-biometric ballots and influencing the result. Problems that caused many crises and tensions to be exploited by the opposing political groups.
With the announcement of the election results and the inauguration of the two presidents, the crisis widened, and with the signing of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban, the situation seemed to be getting out of the control for the political leaders in the country.
These problems caused the country’s economic setup to stagnate, the Taliban took advantage of the situation and continued to wage war, which upset the international community and threatened the people in Afghanistan.
With the ambiguous distribution of authority in the presence of two presidents, the people found themselves in a bad situation and feared that the country would engage in a civil war. The days when protests also peaked and both leaders struggled to install and remove officials.
Now that the political agreement between Ghani and Abdullah has been signed, it is important to look at the opportunities and challenges facing the current Afghan government setup.
Opportunities:
One of the opportunities is the High Council for National Reconciliation, which, by taking a political consensus from the elite, can be effective in resolving issues within the government and to help and satisfy aid countries to fight terrorism.
The High Council for Reconciliation, which is tasked to lead the peace process, can be effective in reaching an intra-Afghan peace process. The people are tired of the war, and the council has an opportunity to succeed in building regional and international consensus by holding talks with the Afghan government, and gain the support of the Afghan people. When there is a single guideline and a national consensus for peace, the power of bargaining and forcing the Taliban to accept peace will increase.
In the current setup, most of the Afghans are below the poverty line, and political disputes and the coronavirus pandemic have put people at risk of starvation. Now is the time for politicians to work to fight poverty, and attaining salvation by putting aside their differences.
The formation of High Council for National Reconciliation to speed up the peace process will once again make Afghanistan the center of attention for Western countries and countries such as Russia, India, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, which could be a good help for peace.
If a consensus is reached and the peace process succeeds, Afghanistan can attract foreign investment in mining, boosting the tourism industry and global tourism, private sector growth, agriculture, water management and financial opportunities. On the other hand, it can largely get rid of proxy wars and terrorism.
With the emergence of a new government, as stated in the political agreement, the reforms in the election system will also be considered, which is a good opportunity to achieve lasting peace and transparent elections, and can guarantee better democratic institutions.
Challenges:
Despite the breakdown of the political stalemate, there are challenges facing the government that can be overcome by managing and foreseeing the leadership of the government.
The two political partners in Afghanistan do not have a good track record of working closely together, and people are concerned that the experience of the National Unity Government (NUG) is not repeated. The concerns are genuine as NUG remained embroiled in internal conflicts for years and missed many important opportunities.
Peace, security and narcotics are three other major challenges for the Afghan government that need regional and international support to overcome. Countries whose interests are tied to the interests of Afghanistan need to back the two political partners to pave the ground for overcoming these problems.
Bestowing the rank of Marshall to General Dostum is another challenge that has many proponents and opponents inside and outside the government, which may increase tensions within the government team requiring unity and support.
Another problem is forming a consensus on how to divide power and determine the importance of the seats that both sides have to distribute.
Another issue that should not be forgotten is the Taliban’s desire to share power, and their interpretation of future political setup in the country.
Given the above, the people want the government and policymakers to put an end to all the failures and challenges and open a window of hope for the people. Understanding the dangerous situation today, they must not miss the opportunity to work with unity and empathy, respecting the values and the rule of law, preserving the achievements of the republican system and saving the country so that we no longer see a civil war in the country.
(Sahar News)

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