Early Analysis of a Fragile Agreement

Two pieces of additional analysis of the deal as the dust starts to settle.  The first is a piece from AREU on the constitutional implications and challenges presented by the deal.  Perhaps the most interesting paragraph suggests:

“It is unfortunate that neither the United Nations, who assumed responsibility for conducting a 100% audit of the votes cast, nor the IEC saw fit to release the election results before the signing of the Agreement.  Reports in the media suggest that both the international community and the Abdullah campaign were reluctant to have the results released before the signing of the Agreement.  However, if one were to read the Agreement carefully, it is implicit in the Agreement that the election process be concluded (and the results publicly announced) in order for the Agreement to take into effect.  Throughout the Agreement there are references to President and a “runner-up” and “leader of the runner-up team”.  The phrase “runner-up” assumes that there was indeed a winner and a loser from the election.”  The entire piece can be found here.

Here are also some comments from an analyst that we have worked with in the past, Mohammad Hasan Wafaey reflecting on the deal:

“A large part of the recent presidential election issue actually has to do with the previous presidential election in 2009 in which Abdullah conceded the runoff to Karzai, despite his complaints about fraud during the entire process.  Though fraud has been visible in all the recent election, the fraud in this election is perceived as more one-sided and closely associated with a Pashtun effort to maintain their position as elder brother over the other ethnic groups in the country.  This perception was strengthened when president Karzai hosted a discussions of representatives from some of the southern provinces called Kandahari Jirga a month before the election.  These elders were asked to help focus efforts on one specific candidate.  While the jirga was primarily focused on securing a Durrani candidate, the primary goal was still to have any Pashtun elected it seems.  Since Karzai was the one setting up the IEC, this process was perceived as being designed to facilitate this transfer to another Pashtun candidate.

Another reason for public suspicion about the deal, have been questions about Karzai’s influence over Ghani and Abdullah in a unity government.  As Karzai has played an important role in negotiating the final deal, what will his role be going forward?  Will he continue to influence them?  Many educated Afghans think that Karzai will try and benefit from the current fragile resolution.  This would be helpful for him to avoid being prosecuted for corruption during his presidency or just to maintain his legacy more generally.

Many Afghans also believe that this deal was made only due to the pressure of America and other western countries.  With fraudulent voting and months of electoral disputes, there is very little confidence in either of the candidates.  Therefor if the candidates are going to continue in the set up of a unity government, there is a sense the the UN and international community need to be vigilant and work closely with the candidates, to make sure that they are building trust and working together.

The lack of legitimacy of this new government is another concern for many educated Afghans.  The results of the election were not announced by the IEC, so people are still not clear on how many votes the candidates received and how the clean votes were separated from the fraudulent ones.  Therefore, there is a fear that those political leaders who do not receive key positions in the new government will work to undermine its fragile legitimacy.   The recent statement from Governor Atta Noor that he will not accept Ghani as president is one such examples of how this may happen.”


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