As we all witnessed, the Afghanistan election started with transparency, but along the way it was caught up in a vast fraud. Those we trusted played with the public vote and democracy was disassembled.
People lost trust in the Independent Elections Commission and this caused an increase in tensions between different ethnic groups in Afghanistan. Finally, as a result of U.S. mediation, both candidates agreed to a recount of votes and to establish a united government after the winner is announced.
But is a “united government” more than just a slogan? Who can guarantee that the two sides can continue with national unity in the future? Who will guarantee that the losing candidate won’t continue to object to the winner? Considering the depth of the argument between the candidates, how can we trust a settlement made in just over 24 hours?
Some members of the two candidates’ supporter groups are well known. We know them because of their past attempts to gain power. Power is gained in legal and illegal ways and nothing can guarantee that these faces have changed.
But the positive points of the agreement outweigh the negative points. One remarkable point is the way one representative can participate in roundtables with the media and talk on behalf of both candidates.
On the other hand, if the two candidates were present, they would give different responses and this raises questions about whether they agree or not. Another positive point of the agreement is that the votes from all over the country are being recounted in the presence of international officials and representatives of both sides. This is important because if there is fraud, people will never trust democracy and will never want to vote again.
I am hoping for a transparent result of the election. The two candidates need to change their mindset and ignore their own agendas for the national government. They must forget about discrimination and come to a real agreement for a united national government and then select cabinet members based on their talent, experience, proficiency, and knowledge. They must work hard to create a government framework in a reasonable timeframe.
But above all, the new president must be open-minded and able to maintain good relations with neighbors—both regionally and in the rest of the world.
Photo by US Embassy Kabul