Will the Afghan Government Deal Provide the Country the Stability it Needs?

21-10-2014

A dangerous political crisis ignited in Afghanistan this year – just months before the International Security Assistance Force was to be replaced by a reduced US and NATO force. Both presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, alleged that the second, June round of the presidential elections had been marred by fraud. A power-sharing agreement was finally reached between President Ghani and 'CEO' Abdullah in September, following intense international pressure. The outcome has frustrated the Afghan people, whose high turnout at the poll, despite high security risks, demonstrated a real commitment to democracy. Turnout in the 2015 parliamentary elections will suggest whether voters' disappointment persists. Providing a minimum of security to the population and to international agencies will be the new government's highest priority. Violent attacks are on the rise, though government camps may disagree on whether and how to negotiate with the Taliban insurgency. Disputes about the appointments of high officials from different political and ethnic groups may also distract Ghani from one of his principal goals: fighting corruption. The European Parliament could ask the EU to reinforce its support for the new government and reiterate its call that a new EU-Afghan agreement stress democracy and human rights – particularly those of women.

A dangerous political crisis ignited in Afghanistan this year – just months before the International Security Assistance Force was to be replaced by a reduced US and NATO force. Both presidential candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, alleged that the second, June round of the presidential elections had been marred by fraud. A power-sharing agreement was finally reached between President Ghani and 'CEO' Abdullah in September, following intense international pressure. The outcome has frustrated the Afghan people, whose high turnout at the poll, despite high security risks, demonstrated a real commitment to democracy. Turnout in the 2015 parliamentary elections will suggest whether voters' disappointment persists. Providing a minimum of security to the population and to international agencies will be the new government's highest priority. Violent attacks are on the rise, though government camps may disagree on whether and how to negotiate with the Taliban insurgency. Disputes about the appointments of high officials from different political and ethnic groups may also distract Ghani from one of his principal goals: fighting corruption. The European Parliament could ask the EU to reinforce its support for the new government and reiterate its call that a new EU-Afghan agreement stress democracy and human rights – particularly those of women.