Voters in Afghanistan return to the polls on Saturday, June 14, 2014 to cast ballots in the runoff election between two men who seek to become president for the next five years.

The runoff between former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah and former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani was declared after none of the eleven candidates in the April 5 presidential election won enough votes to secure an outright victory.

Both candidates have assembled multi-ethnic slates. The U.S.-educated Ashraf Ghani is from the Pashtun ethnic majority. His running mate is Abdul Rashid Dostum, a leader of the northern Uzbek group.

Dr. Abdullah, an eye doctor by training, is associated with non-Pashtun northern groups. His running mates are Mohammad Mohaqiq, a Hazara ethnic minority leader and also Mohammad Khan, a Pashtun. Abdullah ran for president in 2009 and came in second.

The election marks the first democratic transfer of power in the new government of Afghanistan, which was set up after the ouster of the Taliban in 2001. The winner will replace Hamid Karzai, who was ineligible to run again due to term limits.

In this section, AWWP writers once again share hopes and fears for the future and security of their country. The writing has been edited for length and clarity.

In the coming weeks we will continue to add stories as part of our special 2014 Afghan Elections Project. They will be added to this page as they are published on the site.

Susan Postlewaite, Editing Director

Runoff Elections Essays

Earlier 2014 Elections Essays and Poems by AWWP Writers

Oral Stories


Photos of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (by S.K. Vemmer) and Abdullah Abdullah (by Philippe Grangeaud).