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

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues 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.
Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Goghi
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid