e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 04/20/2014
 Election "Cattle Market" for Delegates

By Ezatullah Zawab, Hafizullah Gardesh, and Farida Nekzad

[Printer Friendly Version]

There have been complaints from several provinces of Afghanistan about bribery and intimidation during voting to select candidates for the Constitutional Loya Jirga.

"The election process was like the animal market in Bati Kot, candidates used power and money and the voters were in an atmosphere of fear," said Latif Mal, who had represented Nangarhar province at the Emergency Loya Jirga.

Mohammad Hanif Mujaddidi, who also attended last year’s gathering on behalf of the mountainous province bordering Pakistan, agreed, "The candidates were using power and money and few people were elected as candidates for the Constitutional Loya Jirga who would not be called warlords."

During the elections in Jalalabad for Nangahar candidates, elder Haska Mena said that money was being blatantly bandied about – though not necessarily buying candidates all the support they might have imagined.

"Selling votes is like selling your conscience but here a number of delegates took money from seven or eight of the candidates promising each ‘I will give you my vote’," he said.

Five hundred delegates altogether are attending the Loya Jirga in Kabul to decide a new constitution for the country. Of these 344 have been elected as regional delegates by local representatives who attended the emergency assembly.

According to the rules of the election, military commanders, ministers, governors and government officials were not eligible.

A senior Jalalabad police officials insisted that they had worked hard to help ensure a fair process, “We would allow only those into the polling centres who were voters or were assisting with the process as well as officials and journalists."

But there have been reports of intimidation. Among the most sinister concerned Humaira Rafi, head of the Women’s Peace Group in Nangarhar, who IWPR that she had withdrawn her candidacy for the reserved women’s seats after receiving threats.

"The day before the election some armed men came and told me to [stay away]," she said.

Another female candidate, representing Logar, just southwest of Kabul, reported a similar experience. “ Two days before the election there were night letters [threatening leaflets delivered at night],” said Anahita, who directs a youth project.

However, she added that when she was threatened she received good support from the local police chief and stood her ground to go on to be elected to attend the gathering in Kabul.

Spokesman for the constitution commission Abdul Ghafoor Lewal agreed that there had been some breaches of the rules, but said that it was satisfied with 95 per cent of the elections.

Firm action had been taken where problems had been found.

"A number of commanders nominated themselves as candidates in Laughman, Sherberghan, Jowzjan, Ghor, Badkhshan provinces so we re-held elections. We discovered two forged [voter] cards in Badakhshan and held the elections from scratch," he said.

And despite all the reports of problems found by IWPR in the Nangarhar province, the commission’s manager for eastern regions, Professor Mohammad Ismail Yoon, said that he was pleased that the elections had passed peacefully.

David Singh, a senior media relations officer with the UN , agreed that the process had gone well over all, saying that lessons had been learned from the Emergency Loya Jirga.

Ezatullah Zawab, Hafizullah Gardesh and Farida Nekzad are participating in IWPR’s Loya Jirga reporting project.

Back to Top

Other Stories:

20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

Afghanistan’s Next First Lady Could be a Christian
PJMedia.com (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)

Next Afghan president: A pen or bulldozer?
Asia Times (10/24/2013)

Afghan Election Frontrunners
The Wall Street Journal (10/09/2013)

Karzai Lashes Out at U.S. for Its Role in Afghanistan
The New York Time (10/08/2013)

Karzai offered my party $100m, Noor claims
Pajhwok (10/07/2013)

Gen. Dostum apologizes for his role in Afghanistan civil war
Khama Press (10/07/2013)

27 Candidates nominated for 2014 Afghan presidential election
Khaama Press (10/07/2013)

Karzai’s elder brother Qayum Karzai nominated for Afghan presidency
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Afghan mines minister Shahrani resigns to run in 2014 elections
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Dr. Zalmai Rasoul nominated for 2014 presidential elections
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Ghani formally launches quest for presidency
Pajhwok (10/06/2013)

Limited VP choices put wannabes in tight spot
Pajhwok (10/05/2013)

US embassy rejects Karzai chief of staff Karim Khoram’s remarks
Khama Press (07/18/2013)

Afghan women suffer setback as parliament lowers quota for female lawmakers
NBC News (07/18/2013)

Afghanistan, US Dispute Millions in Customs Fines
Voice of America (07/18/2013)

Back to Top