In the last few minutes, Hamid Karzai has been declared the president of Afghanistan. The second round is also off which is no surprise after Abdullah Abdullah pulled out over the weekend. So there we go – over two months since the first poll, we have a winner. But is that really a word you’d use to describe any of the interested parties?
Those of you who support the US and NATO make the case that we all had something to win or lose in this election. A democratic Afghanistan makes the world safer is the argument in its simplest form.
But whichever way you view the current situation, there are clearly many interested parties. I’d list them as…
– Afghans. Is your country safer or more democratic than before? After, the multiple allegations of fraud in the first round, can they be confident that their wishes are represented? Do they have a President whose creditability is undermined by the process that brought him to power?
– Americans. Eight years of lives lost and money invested, show no sign of coming to an end. We don’t know if President Obama will increase troops numbers, but we’re sure he won’t decrease them.
– the Taliban. Its fighters continue to contest the outside world’s right to dictate what happens in Afghanistan. It also wants an Islamic state, and has lost many lives in the past eight years (though how many is very difficult to quantify).
– NATO members. If your country is one, it will certainly have given money, and possibly expertise and troops on the ground as well. It’s the organisation’s biggest military operation.
– the UN. Ban-Ki Moon is in Afghanistan now. Nothing illustrates better the huge investment that his organisation has made in this election.
– Those who want an Islamic state in Afghanistan. One school of thought is that if the Taliban succeed it’ll assert a Muslim population’s right to order its society according to its religion, and will also refute the right of outside powers to interfere in a country’s affairs.
– Those who want a democracy. Its better for Afghans and their human rights, and it’s better for the world as al Qaeda will not be able to operate out of Afghanistan.
– Those who want the troops out now. There are better ways of tackling al Qaeda and the Taliban.
– Those who want the troops to stay until the Taliban have been defeated. The job must be finished…
Unless you feel Afghanistan has no relevance to your life, you will fall into at least one of the categories above. Has your cause been furthered by this election?
…AND HERE’S KRUPA’S POST FROM EARLIERIt’s the election that everyone appears to have lost. A president with little legitimacy and an international community which has failed at its own rules. The only likely winner of Afghanistan’s non-election seems to be the Taliban.
“I want to be an example for future elections,” said Dr. Abdullah when he stepped down from the run off election. “I want to respect the people who lost their lives while voting in the first round. I want it to be known that no one should tamper with the vote of the people, or use their power to have their way.” Reality is thought, that most people knew Dr. Abdullah was not going win. Was he just a token candidate? And if a second round is only going to lead to a security nightmare and increased political limbo, has Abdullah Abdullah done his country a favour by pulling out?
Karzai appears to have won the right-off elections by default so the US just has to learn to work with who they are stuck with says this editorial.
Is it time to accept that this has been a one horse race without a winner?