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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid