Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Afghanistan's next presidential election

By Sabir Siddiqi - posted Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Amid preparations for the upcoming presidential elections in April, Afghanistan is being forced into a treacherous game of political roulette between the United States and Hamid Karzai.

The game is centered on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and the United States of America, which allows the US to maintain its military presence in Afghanistan and prevent the return of Taliban and affiliated terrorist groups to power in the country.

Except for Karzai, other key stakeholders including the US, participants of the Consultative Grand Assembly and the absolute majority of key civil society groups in Afghanistan back signing of the BSA.


Karzai's stance perplexed many as the Taliban has been the only beneficiary so far. Where the chips may fall at this stage is anyone's guess.

Preparation for the election is quickly descending into chaos and leaves little room for a fair and democratic process.

The election campaigns are encouraging rifts along ethnic and linguistic lines.

The recent tribal gathering in the presidential palace in Kabul to select a candidate under Karzai's patronage only further pushes Afghanistan's nascent democracy off track.

The pre- election chaos is due in part to failure to nurture a positive political discourse that could have led to the emergence of issue-based political trends.

Consequently, the present candidates lack a clear manifesto and practical solutions for stabilizing Afghanistan and promoting democracy and human rights.


Nearly a dozen ethnically structured teams of three will run for "power" on April 5, 2014. However, in general all candidates belong to one of two major camps: "ethnocentric non-Jihadis" and "Jihad-centered nationalists."

Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is the leading candidate in the former camp whose victory will lead to a continuation of the status quo and further deterioration of the security situation.

In light of tense inter-tribal competition in the south and east, the ethno-centrist technocrats such as Ahmadzai might inevitably seek to make deals with Taliban insurgents to avoid a total collapse of the state.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Reza Fazli assisted with editing.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

1 post so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Muhammad Sabir Siddiqi is the director of Development and Public Awareness (DPA) and has worked as advisor in the United Nations and other national and international organizations in Afghanistan and Australia.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Sabir Siddiqi

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 1 comment
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy