January 22, 2018

The choice you make today affects your tomorrow, Afghan election 5 April 2014

By Ghanizada - Wed Apr 02 2014, 8:38 am

Afghan electionsBy Huma Naseri

In political Science the term election means a formal process of selecting an individual to hold public office and run state affairs. Although election in literal sense is a transparent process but due to the nature of society it very much differs from country to country. In conflict ridden fragile democracies Elections are more likely to push the countries back or even into more troubles than strengthening their institutions. Afghanistan is in the list of emerging democracies but due to continues wars and violent conflicts one can reasonably argue, democracy in Afghanistan will take some time to flourish. Despite all the difficulties and problems that Afghanistan is facing, there is still no reason to not support the elections and not give democracy a chance to take its roots in Afghanistan.

On April 5th 2014 Afghanistan will have its third ever presidential elections in the history of that country, without a doubt giving these elections a chance to succeed in this rising democracy, along with numerous chaoses and deep rooted corruption is a huge challenge. I understand lack of pan-ethnic democratic and enough of homogenously ethnic divided groups, could be one of the cause that has great potential to plunge the democratic process into difficulties and undermine the voting process, But these challenges are not supposed to be the reason of being pessimistic about the upcoming elections. I support my claim, by describing the nature of afghan society as a pro-tribal society, and these tribes are in a way similar to political parties and have their own norms and codes. According to a CNN report in countries like Afghanistan “Support of tribes means everything.”

The two months campaign process despite a lot of security challenge successfully came to an end. During this entire period Afghans showed a strong support and motivation about the elections and the candidates in different parts of the country. Despite the terrible security conditions, one of the leading candidates made almost 140 trips to the provinces in order to reach everyone. This passion and enthusiasm among Afghans in itself is a sign that Afghans believe in democracy it’s just the condition which never allowed democracy to thrive.

However, now that the campaign period has almost ended with only 3 more days to go, the nation will have the opportunity to choose an individual to run the state affairs for the coming five years and make policies which will directly affect their lives.  This decision would mean establishing connections between citizens and policymakers to pay attention to their needs and Interest. What can help the Afghans make a better choice is to take a few minutes prior to make a choice about a particular candidate. They should consider the below questions which will eventually lead them to make a better choice and help democracy grow. Remember the choice you make today reflects your tomorrow.

About yourself:  Vote as a responsible citizen 

About Candidate: Who is who? Study them on based on below factors.

Background assurance:

Who is the person running for Presidency? What is his educational background? What are his achievements on National and International Level?  Does he have the capacity to represent Afghanistan around the world in the best way possible? Does he reflect the values and principles you follow?

On Political Level:

What are his policies about ending conflict, promoting good governance, democracy, strengthening state institutions, reducing poverty? How can He implement them and what are the indicators and outcome?

On Economical Level:

What remedies does He have for the terrible financial difficulties, fragile economy and increasing unemployment?

On Gender level:

Does he believe in equal rights for men and women? Does He/she understand that the role of the half of the population, women, of the country ‘is necessary in building the country? Will he permit his wife to appear in public as a first lady and to work with the rest of the people of this country?

If we fail to consider all these points our miseries will continue and the consequences will be devastating for our upcoming generations. 

Huma Naseri is an Afghan analyst and writes on regular basis for her blog, online news portals and BBC Pashto covering issues related to Afghanistan. She holds Masters in International Relation and Political Science from Germany

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