Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

The Kabul Initial Election Results Announced after Long Ups and Downs

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The Kabul Initial Election Results Announced  after Long Ups and Downs

After nearly three months delay, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced the preliminary Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of the Parliament) election results of capital Kabul, saying the results were not final and changes are possible in the final results. The IEC said that 33 candidates including 24 men and nine women have secured seats in Wolesi Jirga from the parliamentary elections which were held about three months ago, in 2018. According to IEC, the men candidates who have won the required votes for the parliament consists of: Haji Ajmal Rahmani, Qayoum Khairkhwah, Fida Mohamad Ulfat Saleh, Javid Jaihoon, Khan Aqa Rezayee, Ramazan Bashardost, Amir Gul Shaheen, Ghulam Hussain Naseri, Mullah Mohammad Khan Ahmadi, Allah Gul Mujahid, Syed Mohammad Mohammadi, Amanullah Gozar, Haji Khan Mohammad Wardak, Qazi Mir Afghan Safi, Ajmal Gulab, Ahmad Zia Azimi Shinozada, Tawfiq Wahdat, Obaidullah Kalimzai Wardak, Hafizullah Jalili, Farhad Sediqi, Anwar Khan Oryakhail, Haji Zergai Habibi, Habib Ur Rehman Sayaf and Najibullah Nasir.
The women candidates who have secured seats  are including; Fatima Nazari, Mursal Nabizada, Shinkai Karo Khail, Robina Jalali, Mariam Sama, Fawzia Nasiryar Guldarayi, Salima Nikbin, Zahra Nawruzi and General Nazifa Zaki. Meanwhile, The Kuchi tribe candidates who have secured seats in parliament include: Shah Wazir Tarakhail, Habib-ur-Rahman Afghan, Mirwais Hussian Khail, Nangialai Lung, Haji Parwaiz Arabzada, Haidar Jan Naimzoi, Rasool Khan Kochi, Hamida Ahmadzai, Maryam Saliman Khail and Farzana Kuchi. In general, with the announcement of the Kabul initial election result, there would be 10 more provinces that have not been announced yet.
Nevertheless, the initial result of Kabul election comes after a lot of disputes and disagreements; once the Independent Election Complaints Commission had canceled the whole Kabul election due to the widespread fraud took place in Kabul constituency. According to legal experts, the IECC decision considered final decision but they retreated from their decision after some tiring arguments. In fact, it was not the first and neither would be the last brawls in the election process. There have been lots of distrusts and arguments since the beginning steps of election until now. According to the electoral calendar, the parliamentary elections should have been held in 20th of September 2018, within one day, in all 34 provinces of the country, but because of the poor management the voting was held in two days in Kabul with double spending of the election budget. On contrary to the law, the parliamentary elections in Kandahar were held with a one-week delay. The parliamentary elections in Ghazni have not held yet.
According to the schedules, the Initial results of the parliamentary election were supposed be announced on 10th of November 2018 and its final results were supposed be announced on 20th of December 2018. Unfortunately, the Independent Election Commission could not fulfill its legal obligation. On contrary to the law, they (IEC) have gradually announced the initial results while it is not clear when the rest of 10 more provinces results will be announced. This clearly indicates that the IEC does not have sufficient ability and knowledge to manage the election process.
The Independent Election Commission was supposed to hold the parliamentary elections and district council elections simultaneously on 20th of September 2018, but failed due to the mismanagement issues. Overall, the (IEC) with its management weakness, inflicted a huge and irreversible blow to the democratic process and collective motivation of the people while neither they apologized from the people of Afghanistan and nor prosecuted by justice system of the country.  Recently, both electoral institutions and international partners have strongly expressed their concerns regarding the challenges of the parliamentary elections and skepticism about ability of IEC if they could hold the elections next year.
The IEC also extremely downgraded in the public opinion and amongst the political elites. Therefore, it is very difficult to restore confidence of the people in the elections with the same commission for holding the elections next year. Thus, the Afghan government has strongly expressed dissatisfaction from the IEC operations. Recently, the second vice president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan spoke of comprehensive reforms in the Afghan electoral commissions, saying that, due to widespread allegations, fraud, misconduct and corruption, not only the elections commissions’ credibility damaged but also the prestige of the government and the people of Afghanistan have been completely damaged. As a senior government official, he reiterated that the work of the electoral commissions has become a tool for teasing and insulting of friends and enemies.
Warning the election commissions, the vice president stressed that the patience of the people has overflowed and no longer can tolerate the weaknesses and the inefficiencies. It is clear that the view of the vice president is not his sole personal opinion, and he, on behalf of the leadership of the Afghan government, has made it clear not only to the electoral commissions but also to the people of Afghanistan and the international community that the Government of Afghanistan is not satisfied with the current status of the commission. And there is need for fundamental changes in these two commissions.
It is highly expected that the government of Afghanistan shows its practical will in reform of the two commissions. Both government and its international partners, especially UNAMA, should have close coordination to reform the Afghan electoral commissions; otherwise the repeated blow will be inflicted on democratic processes of the country. In fact, the failure in election process has seriously damaged the democratic process and it must be stopped here. Without fundamental changes in the structure of election commissions, it is not possible to hold three important coming elections (presidential election, provincial council election and district council election).

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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