The invasion of Afghanistan resulted in the eviction of the world’s most repressive regimes, that of the Taliban. Then, democracy promotion quickly became a stated goal for Afghanistan. So, basically, democracy was thrown at Afghanistan and we had to accept it and go ahead with it, which we did.
It certainly has not been an easy journey for the people and the government in making this democracy work in Afghanistan, where the very pillars of democracy are missing—Justice, equity, freedoms and representation. But, we have managed to come this far and witness the most history day Afghanistan ever lived—April 5, 2014, when thousands and thousands of Afghans came out to vote.
What Afghanistan saw during Karzai’s regime was more of a coalition than a democratic government. It was a coalition of all the major ethnic groups where well-known warlords were resuscitated to their former fiefdoms. Intentionally or unintentionally, Karzai’s government made sure to give a bigger presence for these warlords and their political parties.
The new president will have to continue with this structure as there is always the fear of warlords rising up against the government and causing a crisis. The fact that a coalition government is being stressed upon manifests that the warlords’ presence in Afghanistan’s government will continue. Both candidates have strong warlords backing them up. This certainly does undermine the risks and dangers people dared to face when they left their homes and went to the voting polls not once but twice this year!
Is coalition a good idea? As said before, democracy has been thrown at us. Afghanistan did not take the important steps to help it achieve democracy on its own. So, in order for this democracy to work, coalition is a good idea. But, it should be made more transparent for the common people. What was it that the two candidates agreed upon in the room with John Kerry? Before the election results are announced, the role of the winning candidate and that of the losing candidate should be specified. Several clashes happened between the two candidates’ supporters even after John Kerry’s visit. Are the supporters not aware of what was agreed upon between the two candidates? The public is kept in the dark. Once people are well aware, they can easily take accountable the government and the electrical institution not to manipulate their votes.
The establishment of ‘Unity Government’ has very much overshadowed the people’s will and enthusiasm in taking part, with all risks, in the election process. Unfortunately, somehow, a sense of dis-ownership among people is taking shape that it were them to vote, it were them to take risks and
face danger and threats, but it is not their vote to form their future; it is the warlords and power-thirsty elite to shape their future and choose their leader (s).
The two candidates’ parties have emerged as powerful parties ever since the start of the 2014 election process. They can play an effective role in lessening the military role of the major political parties and enhancing their political role. They can be the chief players in taking Afghanistan closer to an actual democracy where the common people have the voice and not the powerful ones (warlords). Democracy has achieved a niche among the common people. Efforts should be made to promote the positive aspects of democracy in order to help more Afghans embrace this form of government.