Apr 7, 2014

Afghanistan’s second election: not exactly democratic consolidation

Afghanistan went to the polls with minimal violence. But it was hardly a triumph in democracy. Irregularities were many, and the Taliban sits in wait for the main presidential run-off.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

Perhaps it’s because we like to reinforce our own prejudices with positive reaffirmations or perhaps it’s because the media does not know how to tell a complex story simply, but the weekend’s presidential election in Afghanistan was not the democratic triumph we have been led to believe. Yes, they were elections, but this was somewhat short of “two turnover test” that has been incorrectly applied to the notion of “democratic consolidation”.

The most positive news to come from the elections was that there was relatively little violence on the part of the Taliban. This meant that most voters who wanted to participate could do so.

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2 thoughts on “Afghanistan’s second election: not exactly democratic consolidation

  1. j.oneill

    The election is a sham. All of the candidates were approved by the US. The Taliban were not permitted to run any candidates, quite likely because they would have won, at least in the dominant Pashtun areas.

    Instead we have a faux election with the usual assortment of drug lords, war criminals, and all round stooges. That won’t prevent the media in Australia trumpeting the election as evidence of “democracy” at work.

    Even the drug addled Karzai wouldn’t succumb to American blandishments, threats and bribes to sign a new SOFA agreement, so perhaps there is some hope that this latest western invasion of Afghanistan will follow the pattern of all the others through history and the invaders will leave with their tail between their legs. All the while trumpeting that they have brought “progress”.

  2. AR

    Just like in Iraq, only those deemed ‘safe & obedient’ are even allowed to stand as the Hegemon’s satraps – World Bank, Ivy League, Langley wot’s the diff?

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