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Lessons Learnt from Failed Parliamentary Election

Feature: Lessons Learnt from Failed Parliamentary Election

President Ashraf Ghani described the 7-month delay in announcing the results of the parliamentary election in Kabul and Paktika provinces a ‘catastrophe’ in an inauguration ceremony, which was held in the capital, and called on deputies to avoid repetition of the disaster by modifying the election law.
He attributed the ‘catastrophe’ to incompetence of former commissioners. The president called the absentee of Ghazni representatives in parliament as a major vacuum and called on the electoral commissions to pay attention to this. He said he hopes the Ghazni elections will be held along with the presidential, provincial, and district council elections.
Ghani added that in the run-up to the elections, the credibility of the people should be restored to the electoral commissions and the people are sure that their votes will be considered transparently and the results will be presented to them soon. Parliamentary elections were held about seven months ago, but the results were eventually completed on Wednesday (May 25th).
President Ghani expressed his opinion about the parliamentary elections and the long and unparalleled process of announcing its results, as if this event had not occurred in the government under his leadership and he was merely an opposition leader and a serious critic of the government’s performance in this regard.
Ghani has apparently forgotten that what he nowadays reads as a “catastrophe” is the effect of years of intentional, systematic and organized delay in fundamental and real election reforms by a government led by him. Ghani, as a president, had to ensure that the government paved the way towards a democratic and transparent mechanism that would have been able to protect the people’s voices in the elections, and not allow another embarrassing experience like the1993 presidential election.
Ashraf Ghani and his team, by disregarding the parliamentary elections, once again destroyed the people’s hopes for the revival of dying democracy, and pushed Afghanistan back to many years by imposing their illegitimate and anti-democratic will.
If Ghani really believed that the parliamentary elections and the process of announcing its results were a disaster, why, despite this belief, the opening of the parliament was ensured by him, which did not include the representatives of a large province like Ghazni, and the people of that province were deprived of their legitimate and civil right.
President Ghani did not even wait until the representatives of Kabul and Paktia were introduced so he could open the parliament because it prevented him from realizing his other anti-democratic will, holding the Peace Consultative Jirga, and, more of all, eroding legitimacy.
The president accused the corrupt and appointed commissioners of previous electoral commissions of inadequacies and introduced them to the judiciary because of three years of unjustified delays in holding parliamentary elections and the inability to hold parliamentary elections in Ghazni province. Is he not liable to any legal and judicial authority and does not accept incompetence himself?
However, he knows that, with the criticism of the election commissioners, he cannot overcome the heavy burdens of the historically bad name of the election, the plunder of the people’s votes and the destruction of the shaky and low-level democracies in Afghanistan. He knows that by making obvious and deceptive treacheries and hardships that have been casted on people’s votes and trust in the nation, the creation of formal and symbolic amendments to the electoral law cannot restore the people’s confidence in the electoral commissions and the overall democratic process.
As far as people were concerned, they committed their share of sacrifices; however, the plunder of government from the nation was a disaster; a catastrophe, which of course is good for the government because all it wanted was a puppet parliament – weak, listening to the command, passive, free from the voices of the opposition and criticism, and in full compliance with the anti-democratic and authoritarian projects of the political elite.
Now, the lessons from the failure of the parliamentary elections must be learned so that the presidential elections are held properly.
Now, with the closure of the parliamentary election, preparations have been made to hold the presidential election. Presidential elections are scheduled to take place on the sixth month of this year (solar year).
The US Assistant Secretary of State recently met with the members of the electoral commission’s leadership and emphasized the holding of a transparent election.
As a matter of fact, presidential elections are more important than any election. These elections are sensitive to current politics in the country. If the electoral commissions will go through the lessons of the parliamentary elections, there will be a clear guideline in the presidential election. The announcement of the final results of the parliamentary elections took seven months. Election fraud was a common practice, and, following the same, candidates and electoral factions will try to win the election by resorting to fraud in the upcoming election as well, but it is the responsibility of the electoral commissions to separate the black and white votes.
One of the serious challenges of the parliamentary election was the separation of black and white votes. Unfortunately, there was no fair election. Electoral commissions should use the experience of parliamentary elections in the healthy way of holding presidential elections.
In the parliamentary elections, biometric devices were used incompletely. One of the controversies in the parliamentary elections was the biometric system, which still seems to haunt presidential election as well. Unfortunately, the commissions do not seem in a strong position to tackle the problem.
One of the responsibilities and priorities of the election commission in the remaining period must be confidence building. People’s distrust of electoral commissions is a serious challenge to the electoral process, and the overall democratic process and government in the country.
(Sahar News)

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