In spite of the Taliban’s threats, on Election Day people took the risk and went to vote to change the future of Afghanistan. Some lost their lives and others had their fingers cut off by the Taliban in the second election on June 14. Now, people are waiting impatiently for the results of the presidential election to be announced. They hope and dream a new government will dismantle corruption, make the country safe, create new business and jobs, and destroy the Taliban.
But while we wait for the vote to be announced the country appears headed toward a major crisis. Supporters of both candidates are fighting and insulting each other. Abdullah Abdullah’s team has accused Ashraf Ghani and his team of fraud.
It is clear this arguing will lead to more instability. The Parliament has gotten involved, with representatives taking sides and the plenary session members blaming each other for crimes or betrayal and spying within Afghanistan or for other countries in the region.
People fear that warlords will take power and drag Afghanistan into instability as they fight for power among each other. Abdullah is the source of much of this. He is blaming the Independent Elections Commission for working in the interest of Ghani, and so he’s boycotted the results before they have been announced.
Abdullah lacks extensive governmental experience or skills. He served only as Minister of Foreign Affairs during the first term of Karzai’s presidency. He encourages his supporters to demonstrate and he calls on the United Nations to intervene and observe the vote counting. Back in April after the first round of the elections when the IEC declared Abdullah had received the most votes he didn’t mention any fraud. He was happy about the IEC.
People are scared about what will happen when the results are announced in July. They fear we’ll have more conflict, warlords may start fighting, and people will have to flee. Where they will go, no one has the answer.
I am still hoping for an honest, well educated new government with policies and programs, a government that can solve the people’s problems, lift the people from poverty, and bring prosperity. A government that will be known as representative and not as a corrupt government that allows corruption, poppy cultivation, and drug trafficking.
I hope for a good government that takes concrete steps for women’s rights and eliminates violence against women and children. I want a government that extends programs for future generations, not only for the current generation. A government that shows its neighbors and other countries around the world that it is not theirs to play with, that is self-sufficient, that fights for democracy, and respects freedom of speech and expression.
By Sitara B.
Photos of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (by S.K. Vemmer) and Abdullah Abdullah (by Philippe Grangeaud).