Editor’s note: In this piece the writer refers to the deal brokered last week by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for an audited count of the 8 million votes cast in the disputed presidential election in Afghanistan. Ballots will be transferred from the provinces to Kabul to be counted.
As the world now knows, we had two rounds in our presidential elections in Afghanistan. At the beginning everyone was very happy to have this kind of democratic election in Afghanistan.
In the first round in April we had eleven candidates, then some of them joined other candidates, so finally we had a choice of eight when we went to the voting centers and we voted in safety. Two candidates—Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani—received the most votes. There was no clear winner, so the election went to a second round.
For the second round, again we went to voting centers, but this time fewer people voted, and then the negotiations started between the two candidates and their parties. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah would not accept the vote count by the Independent Elections Commission. People were very confused and worried about the election results, about the government’s future, and about their own future.
Fortunately, John Kerry then came to Afghanistan. In 48 hours he seems to have solved the problems. My family waited until 10:30 that night to watch the start of their talks. We watched the speech very attentively and when the two candidates agreed that there will be only one president and one government, we were very happy and we stopped worrying about it.
We are not yet completely sure about who won this election, but we feel more comfortable.
Photos of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (by S.K. Vemmer) and Abdullah Abdullah (by Philippe Grangeaud).