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Presidential Election Conundrum

Presidential Election Conundrum

As per Afghan election’s standard operating procedure, the President of Afghanistan is elected using the two-round system; if no candidate receives 50+1 of the votes in the first round, a second round will be held featuring the top two candidates.
Independent Election Commission (IEC) delayed preliminary results of Presidential elections, which was supposed to be announced on October 19, 2019.
Though, the turn out was less as compared to previous elections, due to inefficient security, but Afghan government and international community praised the people for their participation in the presidential election to decide future of the country.
It is evident from the past experiences, that if the people’s votes are not respected, the people will lose their faith in the electoral process/system.
Soon after September 28th, 2019 presidential election, most of the presidential candidates have announced that they have won the election with clear majority.
Later, some of the candidates, who according to analysts, know they will not get enough votes demanded second round of election, which needs millions of dollars to be conducted and also the second round, as per current election calendar, is not possible to be held because of cold weather, snow and rain in different parts of the country.
The Election commissioners should stop wasting time, like registration fake votes in the central server. When results are fake and the biometric device is unavailable, there is no need to enter the data in the main server. It is worth mentioning here that IEC has announced that the non-biometric votes will not be counted.
It is almost impossible for Afghanistan to hold free, fair and transparent election. Because those who are in power will always influence the outcome of the results. This time also, there are news by different Presidential electoral teams blaming rival team for influencing the result mostly against President Ghani who has the final saying on security forces and other government organs.
Secondly, Afghanistan has never witnessed transparent and fair elections and International community and political parties kept mum in previous elections because they knew that it needs time for democracy to be nurtured which, unfortunately, had inverse impact on overall situation in Afghanistan.
In last election, major political parties and figures have said that irregularities in Election results will not be tolerated.
That is was one of the reasons before September 28, 2019 presidential election that major political parties and political figures wanted an interim government, demanding president Ashraf Ghani to step down.
According to analysts and observers, President Ghani is not willing to leave office at any cost and will do, whatever, it needs to remain in office. Although, he knows how incompetent he was since taking office of the president of Afghanistan. Majority of Afghans are of the view that 2014 presidential election was one of the worst elections ever held in Afghanistan.
After formation of National Unity Government (NUG), Afghanistan witnessed worst deteriorating security situation, economic downfall and huge number of people migrated to foreign countries.
Political parties and International community, this time should respect people’s votes, who endangered their life on election day and came out to vote.
Also, now is the time, that the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and Election Complaint Commission (ECC) should think about the future of Afghanistan by announcing the result as per people’s vote and decision by defying external pressures.
Afghanistan have seen almost four decades of war and devastation and now as the US led international forces are thinking to withdraw from Afghanistan, it is vital that Afghans should be led by someone, who has the capacity and capability to run the office of the president and take decisions based on national interest.
On the other hand, Taliban and Afghan government are almost on the verge of negotiation, at this critical juncture there should be some one who can led Afghanistan towards the right path by bringing peace and stability and work for the prosperity of the country without compromising the achievement of the last 19 years.
(Sahar News)

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