Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, April 4th, 2020

Opposing Elections Result Likely to Generate National Crisis

The result of the presidential election, as Ashraf Ghani was declared the winner, was proved contentious since the losing teams have refused the outcome saying the election had been rigged. A fresh disagreement emerged between political leaders and officials.
Following the declaration of the presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah announced himself the winner and said that he would form an inclusive government, which has no legal basis. Few other presidential frontrunners also put the transparency of the election under question.
It is evident that all presidential and parliamentary elections, without exception, have been rigged in Afghanistan despite the fact that the constitution reiterates free and fair elections. The biometric system could not prevent the rigging. After all, it is believed that officials, rather than ordinary people, were involved in the electoral rigging.
Following the downfall of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan has been transitioning to democratic system as a highly democratic constitution was approved and presidential and parliamentary elections were conducted. To this end, democracy is still nascent in the country and elections, even if not fair and transparent, will pave the ground for the institutionalization of democratic principles. In other words, conducting a fair and free election in a country gripped with manifold challenges and insurgency is really hard.
It should be noted that the challenging hardships in the country will not justify the electoral rigging. Corruption is rife within the government machinery and the country is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The government could not tackle the corruption. Afghan officials have to combat the corruption and bring the corrupt officials to justice.
Holding the position of the CEO for the past five years, Abdullah is also responsible for not being able to mitigate the level of corruption within the government organs. With this in mind, officials should not put the blame on one another about the electoral rigging rather all are responsible.
It is believed that opposing the result of the presidential election will compound the challenges and put adverse effect on national issues. That is to say, if the trust deficit and discord are increased between political leaders and officials, ordinary people are likely to bear the brunt. According to general belief, the losing teams, which talk about forming parallel or inclusive government, oppose the result not to support democracy but to gain political positions within the government. Hence, their main concern is not to be marginalized from the political arena. For instance, political parties also hold different approach to that of the government regarding the peace talks simply to gain power within the government.
If presidential frontrunners seek to resort to tension and crisis through refusing the result of the election, there will be two horrible consequences: First, the public will lose their trust in the officials and the gap between state and nation is likely to grow wider. Although the low voter turnout indicated the public mistrust in the transparency of election, it will grow further if crisis emerge in the wake of discord between officials and political leaders.
Second, the peace process will be affected negatively. Formation of an inclusive team will be further controversial and political leaders will continue their disagreement in this regard. Meanwhile, the Taliban will capitalize on the issue and increase their conditions for the intra-Afghan dialogue, which will make the peace process rockier.
Forming “a civil society void of oppression, atrocity, discrimination as well as violence, based on rule of law, social justice, protecting integrity and human rights, and attaining peoples’ freedoms and fundamental rights” as stated in the preamble of Afghan Constitution, seems hard with the unfair and fraudulent election. Hence, the government has to mitigate the level of corruption and seek to conduct transparent elections in the future so as to support democratic principles.
Moreover, political leaders and presidential frontrunners have to agree with the result of the election so as to mitigate the national challenges. Creating crisis and opposing the result will not be in the interests of the nation. Afghan ordinary people are unlikely to side with the losing teams in opposing the result of elections since they are highly exhausted with crisis and protests. In short, Afghans simply expect to have their rights protected, security ensured, and provided with jobs and services regardless of the fact that who will be the president. Hence, if Afghan people accept, and will do it, the result, political leaders should stop disagreeing the outcome for their own self-interests.