Afghanistan Elections

“We passed the toughest test of our time in 2014. Looking back, we’re in a much better place today than we were 18 months ago,” said Ambassador Mohib. 

A New Narrative for Afghanistan

June 8, 2016

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Following national elections in 2014 and the formation of the National Unity Government, Afghanistan has entered a new era of reform in what some call a ”transformation decade.” Last week, The Asia Foundation and World Affairs Council hosted a discussion with Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States, Hamdullah Mohib, and Karl Eikenberry, forme… Read more

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Looking Ahead in Afghanistan: A Conversation with Political Economist Timor Sharan

November 18, 2015

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In Asia editor Alma Freeman spoke with Asia Foundation expert Timor Sharan from Kabul on reactions to this year’s Survey of the Afghan People, the challenges facing Afghanistan’s year-old National Unity Government, its changing role in the region, the need for an Afghan-led election dispute resolution mechanism…

Timor-Leste Daily Life 

Asia’s Maturing Democracies Wrestle with Election Realities

March 25, 2015

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What exactly are international norms and standards of electoral integrity, and how should these be promoted while accommodating local circumstances, such as conflict, socio-economic conditions, and culture? Last week, the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) and the National Electoral Commission of Timor-Leste…

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Editor’s Picks: 2014 Must Reads

December 23, 2014

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Season’s Greetings! On behalf of In Asia’s editorial board and bloggers, we thank you for your engagement and continued readership throughout the year. We’ll be taking a short break, but will return on January 7. In the meantime, catch up on our must-read pieces and highlights on the most pressing events and issues in Asia throughout 2014.

AfghanElectionLine 

Survey Reveals 2014 Election Major Driver of Optimism in Afghanistan

November 19, 2014

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On September 21, Ashraf Ghani sent his first tweet as Afghanistan’s new president: “Thank you, all! Our work for a better & prosperous Afghanistan starts today. I request everyone to join us in this vital national task.” Despite what seems like a daily news ticker of doom – “insurgent violence on the rise in Kabul,” “opium cultivation at an all time high…

NajlaAyubi 

Q&A: Najla Ayubi Discusses Afghanistan’s New Leadership & Afghan Survey Findings

November 19, 2014

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In Asia editor Alma Freeman spoke with Judge Najla Ayubi, The Asia Foundation’s deputy country representative in Afghanistan, for her reaction to the just-launched 2014 Survey of the Afghan People.

 

Afghans Aren’t Giving Up

November 19, 2014

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Afghanistan’s newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, appears to be off to a good start with the Afghan people. He has announced a series of new initiatives and adopted a hands-on style of governing, including surprise visits to military posts…

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Video: Polling 9,300 Afghans

November 12, 2014

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Afghan citizens defied security threats and turned out in millions to vote in this year’s elections, leading to the country’s first democratic transition from one elected president to another. Following these historic elections and national security transition, some signs point to progress, but challenges remain surrounding corruption, security, wo… Read more

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Reason for Optimism in Afghanistan

November 5, 2014

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The people of Afghanistan have elected a new president, Ashraf Ghani. For the first time in its modern history, its leadership has passed peacefully to new hands. Ghani is well qualified for the job, knows his country intimately, and has thought long and hard about how he can help the Afghan people…

AfghanVoters 

In First Runoff Election, Afghans to Vote for Reform

June 11, 2014

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On April 5, 2014, Afghans turned out in the first round of elections to choose a successor to outgoing president, Hamid Karzai, in what was perhaps the most successful election Afghanistan has ever held. Despite a limited number of international forces and endemic intimidation by insurgents, 7 million Afghans – one-third of whom were women – stood in the rain in long queues before the polls had even opened to cast their votes. Aside from a few cases, Election Day was relatively peaceful, with officials reporting far fewer violent incidences than in 2009. The voters, covered with plastic sheets, the security institutions manned exclusively by Afghans…

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Najla Ayubi on Elections and Women in Afghanistan

June 11, 2014

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If Afghanistan is synonymous with a rugged terrain and warring tribes, the “graveyard of empires,” then it should also be synonymous with courage and defiance. Afghan women collectively deserve not only the Nobel Prize for peace, but also a prize for courage and valor, especially crafted for them.

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Renowned Afghan Archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi Discusses Bamiyan

June 11, 2014

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On February 26, leading Afghan archaeologist Zemaryalai Tarzi spoke at The Asia Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco. Formerly the general director of Archaeology and Preservation of the Historical Monuments of Afghanistan, Professor Tarzi is currently president…

AfghanElections 

What to Look for Ahead of Election Runoff in Afghanistan

April 30, 2014

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Over the weekend, a clearer picture of the results of Afghanistan’s April 5 presidential election emerged, with preliminary results showing Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah as the front-runner. With 45 percent of the vote, this will not be enough to avoid a runoff…

AfghanWomeElections 

Impartiality Critical to Ensuring Afghanistan’s Election Credibility

April 16, 2014

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Election day in Afghanistan exceeded even the most optimistic expectations, with long queues of men and women turning out to vote for a new president in what many are declaring a sign of increased political maturity and belief in democratic systems among Afghans today. Estimates show a turnout of over 50 percent – 37 percent of whom were women – all the more significant in an environment where fear of violence was on high in the lead-up to the election and threatened to impact voter turnout. Instead, Afghans defied threats and attacks by insurgent groups and came out in large numbers to cast their vote. On Sunday, Afghans heard the first official report of partial results, with two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, appearing to take the lead with a run-off likely.

NajlaAyubi 

Foundation’s Najla Ayubi Joins Experts at USIP to Discuss Afghan Election

April 9, 2014

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Najla Ayubi, The Asia Foundation’s deputy country representative in Afghanistan, joined other discussants from Kabul via videolink and in Washington at the U.S. Institute of Peace today for one of the earliest looks at Afghanistan’s April 5 historical elections. The experts offered insight into the political lay of the land for the country’s first… Read more

AfghanistanElectionPosters 

Despite Escalating Violence, Afghans Remain Determined to Elect Their New President

April 2, 2014

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Afghanistan’s presidential election on April 5 stands to play a crucial and historical role in the country’s nascent process of democratization, and offers a chance to renew the legitimacy of its political process.

 

In Afghanistan, Provincial-Level Institutions Critical to Protecting and Advancing Women’s Rights

December 11, 2013

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Five months from now, Afghanistan will enter a critical juncture of transition and election, in a dynamic context where large parts of the country are now increasingly controlled by Taliban shadow governments.

AfghanSurveying 

Afghans Apprehensive But Cautiously Optimistic as They Move into Critical Transition

December 4, 2013

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Today in Kabul, The Asia Foundation released its annual Survey of the Afghan People, the country’s broadest and most comprehensive public opinion poll with 9,260 Afghans interviewed face-to-face across all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. This year’s survey is particularly significant as it reflects the perceptions of the Afghan people as they enter the critical transition year of 2014 faced with national elections, the drawdown of the remaining international security forces in the country, the growing insurgency, and the impact these events will have on the nation’s economy.

AfghanGirls 

Where will Transition Take Women and Girls in Afghanistan?

December 4, 2013

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Like most people I know in Afghanistan, I feel a palpable change that is taking place in our society. But until now, it was hard to really put a finger on what that change is. This year’s 2013 Survey of the Afghan People sheds light on how Afghan’s perceptions are changing: 59 percent of respondents reported that they “fear for personal safety,” the highest ever…

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A Conversation with Afghanistan Governance & Elections Expert Idrees Ilham

December 4, 2013

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In this interview, In Asia editor Alma Freeman discusses findings from the 2013 Survey of the Afghan People and prospects for Afghanistan’s future with The Asia Foundation’s governance and elections expert Idrees Ilham in Kabul.

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As Election Nears in Afghanistan, Women’s Political Participation Is Critical

September 18, 2013

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Last May, Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament quietly removed an electoral law that stipulated that a quarter of all provincial council seats should be allotted to women. When women politicians found out nearly a month later, they fought to have it recalled…