News / Asia

Afghan Presidential Election Process Begins

Afghan men attend a gathering launched by a political party ahead of an election campaign in Kabul, Sept. 3, 2013.
Afghan men attend a gathering launched by a political party ahead of an election campaign in Kabul, Sept. 3, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Election officials in Afghanistan have begun accepting the nominations of would-be candidates for presidential polls set for April 5, which could be the first peaceful transfer of power in the history of the war-torn country.

The Independent Election Commission, while formally opening the presidential race on Monday, gave candidates until October 6 to submit their nomination papers.

Afghan political parties and groups are making hectic efforts to form new election alliances and coalitions. The presidential race so far, though, has been wide-open and there is no "consensus candidate."

Media speculation has focused on Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, opposition politician and former presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah, former finance minister Ashraf Ghani and member of parliament Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf as being some of the potential candidates. None of them, however, have officially confirmed they will run.

Transferring security responsibilities

The winner of the election will replace incumbent President Hamid Karzai and will oversee the final phase of transferring security responsibilities to Afghan national forces when NATO ends its combat mission by the end of next year.

Mahmood Karzai, a brother of the incumbent Afghan president, said that despite security fears in the wake of stepped up Taliban insurgency and other domestic issues, the historic election will be held in time and will go a long way in stabilizing Afghanistan.   
 
“This is the first time in our elections that people are coming up with polices and they are explaining to the public what they would do if they become president," said Karzai. "Well, this is great news [for our country]. Many people are consolidating their powers, their parties. I think Afghanistan is [moving] in the right direction because everybody’s interest is in a peaceful transfer of power,” he said.
 
Afghan commentators and media say that party-based politics and election coalitions are a new development in the country, where tribal worlds traditionally have influenced the outcome of elections.

Tribal allegiances

Some also believe that while the democratic practices will undermine the monopoly of the warlords, they will also make it difficult for an individual to win the next presidential election without being part of a major alliance.

Mirwais Yasini, the first deputy speaker of Afghanistan’s National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, said, “A team can be workable and can lead this country, but individuals are difficult in the circumstances that Afghanistan has been through. It will be difficult that we can rely on an individual, so there has to be a good team to lead this country.”
 
Under the new election requirements, observers say the number of contenders is expected to be far less than in previous presidential ballots. A candidate is now required to deposit a substantial fee of around $18,000 [one million Afghanis] and submit the voter identification details of 100,000 supporters from at least 20 provinces.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid