I believe voting is everyone’s right and the Afghan people have already shown that they believe in using their rights by voting in the presidential election. But I am concerned about whether all those who voted in April will join in the voting this time or not.
In the first round, people were scared, but wanted to vote. This time is different. The level of interest and joy about the elections has changed completely.
I was afraid, but also delighted in the first round. I needed people to go with me that day to the polls for safety. But this time we have spent so much time waiting for the results, with the Elections Commission saying something different each time, and then changing the date and time of the runoff election. I am not sure if anyone from our family will even vote this time.
My other concern is that we now have two candidates supported by many different groups because some of the original eleven candidates who did not get enough votes to be in the runoff election announced their support for one of the two finalists.
Some voters don’t like this. They may like the candidate himself, but don’t want him influenced by these new supporters. We all know that the supporters will get high positions in the new government and will not bring change. Their programs are not the same as what the two finalists propose and we can’t be sure if the two candidates are going to change their programs just to satisfy these people in order to get the votes they bring.
It would have been better if these two top vote getters had rejected the offers of support and respected the people’s vote. Afghan people don’t want someone when they know he will not do anything for the benefit of his countrymen and women.
Photos of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (by S.K. Vemmer) and Abdullah Abdullah (by Philippe Grangeaud).
Dear Asma: Thank you for this clear-eyed assessment of what’s happening on the ground. I can definitely understand feeling like a balloon that’s lost all it’s air. And the worries about how the winning candidate will be affected by his new supporters is a valid one. We have that problem in the US. I am a staunch supporter of one particular party in the US. Occasionally the other party will have a leader that I think, well, maybe I could support that person–but the fact is, he or she must still answer to his or her supporters and party, and I tend not to support those people… yet, we have to work hard for progress and believe it possible. Those who don’t want change want us deflated and feeling helpless. Let’s not give it to them! Stacy
Yes, Asma – good clear headed thinking – very concise, very well put. See you In October at OES. Baba Ted
Asma — A well thought out, clear essay about what you see are the problems with this election. As Stacy has pointed out — we too have the problem of supporters of a particular candidate being given powerful jobs after the election. I hope that whoever is elected he will choose wise, peaceful men and women to help him run the country. I hope too that you and others in your country will go to the polls and vote so that your voices are heard. Thank you for writing this! Nancy