Time for Peaceful Resistance against Fraud
Afghanistan is anticipating political instability. Failing to recognize the criticality of the situation, the Independent Election Commission announced the preliminary results of the elections amidst public rage of a large population of the country over the massive frauds that have marred the polls. So far the electoral bodies have failed to properly recognize and investigate claims of industrial-scale frauds that have been backed up in some cases with seemingly credible evidences. As result, presidential candidate Abdullah defied the announcement of the preliminary results and claimed he was absolutely the winner of the elections. In his speech to a gathering in Kabul, Abdullah warned of announcing a government if talks fail the resolve the election impasse. Asking his supporters to give him time for announcement of government, he visibly once gave chance for talks in the coming days.
Given the trend of developments, there are hard days ahead and all parties and the election stakeholders need to practice restraints. In the meantime, there should a robust political will among all sides particularly the government of Hamid Karzai to resolve the election crisis and redirect the political process into the right direction. The derailment of the current process for political transition in the country poses a substantial threat not to the interests of one or another political trend but to the future of the country. A fair and acceptable election is the only way for deciding the future of the country. Any effort for taking the election process hostage does not benefit the country and the political spectrum in general. The process has suffered sufficient damage to this stage due to incapable leadership of the government and the electoral commissions.
For redressing the harms done, the government and the electoral bodies must take necessary measures for making the political environment calm and bring the process back on the track. Such measures could include negotiations aimed at making deals or recount of the votes for making the process legitimate and acceptable to all parties. The transparency of the election process should not be compromised and the public confidence over the representative politics and election must be restored. Lack of efficient leadership from President Karzai and lack of commitment from the electoral bodies have led the election into a complete failure. It is now clear to almost everyone from foreign observers to the Afghan public that the government and the electoral bodies have orchestrated massive frauds so to determine winning of one of the candidates.
On their turn, Abdullah’s camp also needs to understand the critical situation and the wrong direction Afghanistan might go if both sides fail to act responsibly. Lack of commitment, responsibility and respect to national laws and the democratic principles from the ruling circle of Afghan statesmen does not justify irresponsibility on other side. Abdullah has the right the lead peaceful opposition against a fraud-born government if the government and the electoral continue to fail to properly and thoroughly address the legitimate calls for dealing with the massively orchestrated frauds. However, all parties need to remain calm and practice restraint so to be able to follow their plans through peaceful and legal manners.