Afghan Elections: Why Should We Care?

Last time around in 2009 scarcely three million of 14 million eligible voters actually voted

Last time around in 2009 scarcely three million of 14 million eligible voters actually voted

I hope very much that back in Europe and North America you are enjoying enormously the Afghan election and closely following the result – because you are paying for it.

Western taxpayers are forking out $100m for this battle between corruption, vote buying and intimidating voters to go to the pools by the various candidates on the one hand – and the mujahedeen fundamentalists on the other intimidating, detonating, shooting and sabotaging the entire process to stop it happening.

The west will take a result – pretty much any result – for its money. Or our money I should say. That’s because it has no plan B at all.

Last time around in 2009 scarcely three million of 14 million eligible voters actually voted and the west duly declared it a valid election (if seriously flawed and fraudulent) for precisely the same reason: no plan B.

This week two of the leading three contenders in the race were found guilty of electoral malpractice before the poll has even happened tomorrow.

One who broke the rules came second in 2009 only to withdraw from the run-off because of – you guessed – corruption.

The other was fined 100,000 Afghanis for forcing people to attend his campaign rally in Kandahar. So it goes. No matter. If ever a show must go on, it is this one.

Why? Because there is one thing every single Afghan knows, whatever tribe, ethnicity, sex or religion, from Afghan army generals to the Taliban commanders in Quetta and it is this: if the west stops paying more than a billion dollars a year to fund the Afghan police and army – Afghanistan will disintegrate into far more serious and bloody anarchy in days.

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