News / Asia

Battle for Political Power Underway in Afghanistan

Battle for Political Power Underway in Afghanistani
X
September 29, 2013 6:06 PM
Elections for a new president to replace Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan are six months away and the battle for power in the country is heating up. Regional analysts say that powerful political alliances are beginning to form, and the result of the vote will determine whether Afghanistan moves forward or stays mired in long-term conflict.
Sharon Behn
Elections for a new president to replace Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan are six months away and the battle for power in the country is heating up. Regional analysts say that powerful political alliances are beginning to form, and the result of the vote will determine whether Afghanistan moves forward or stays mired in long-term conflict.
  
After decades of war and corruption, Afghanistan is a poor country. The hope is that the April 2014 presidential election will change all that, says Noor Agha.
 
“We are all tired of war. The next president should work toward peace and improve our lives,” Agha said.
 
Hamidullah Farooqi, a former transportation minister now part of a political coalition of technocrats, warns of the dangers of a failed election.
 
“It will be a disaster,…a huge problem on Afghanistan because all eyes are looking to that election,” he said.
 
Voter registration is underway. Workers say the turnout has been high. But it’s still not clear who the candidates are.

The Afghan presidency holds immense power.
 
Political analyst Kate Clark says as a result, leaders are cutting political deals to win votes.
 
“You have to do deals. And none of it, pretty well none of it, is ideological. None of it’s party-based, none of it’s ideological," she said. "It’s pretty well all about interests, and pretty much trying to judge who’s on the winning ticket.”
 
It is a contest between the ethnic politics of the past, a continuation of the status quo, or a government of consensus, says former finance minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
 
Then there is the Taliban, and what it decides to do.
 
“So they have three options: one, intensify the violence, and further polarize a society; two, allow the election to take place so that the issue of peace and enduring peace can really be debated, and we arrive at a consensus; and three, more remotely, participate in the elections,” he said.
 
But voter Nasir Ahmad Ramyar, with the group Afghans for Progressive Thinking, says this time, the real power is the ballot.
 
“People know their rights, people know that voting will change their life, people know voting is something they have to do,” Ramyar said.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs