Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 16th, 2019

Increasing Impartial Election Monitors is Good Measure to Its Transparency

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Increasing Impartial Election Monitors  is Good Measure to Its Transparency

According Independent election commission (IEC), more than 100 thousand people will monitor from Election Day scheduled on 28 September, 2019. Given the controversy over the presidential election in 2014 and also parliamentary election in 2018, there is a serious need for widespread monitoring from the presidential election. Impartial monitoring from election will not only ensure the transparency and credibility of the election, but also calm down the weak candidates from making unreasonable claims and controversies. In last parliamentary election, almost all candidates claimed winning the election while some of them were righteous but it was too hard to distinguish. Therefore, there is a serious need for national and international organization to supervise from the whole election process including holding election, vote count process, and ballot box transition to the election headquarter. 
Based on IEC officials, in addition to national bodies such as political parties, national election bodies and representatives of candidates, there will be a large number of monitors from international organization including UNAMA, a group from Australia, NATO, British embassy, Canadian embassy, Indian embassy and so on. The presence of national and international monitors will increase hopes and confidence for ensuring a transparent and qualitative election in the country. As experienced in the past, the presence of international monitors will be more effective for holding a transparent and credible election in Afghanistan.
The first elections in Afghanistan, especially the presidential election in 2004, were entirely managed by UNAMA with its Afghan personnel. Thought it was the first election and first experience in the country but it was the best election in modern Afghanistan. Thus, in later elections there was no serious controversy across the country. Though there was no national mechanism about election, everyone trusted on foreigners and their impartial management. Unlike recent years, in 2004 all winner and loser candidates accepted the outcome of election without any serious doubts and question. Undoubtedly, the current condition of Afghanistan is not better than 2004 so we need to international contribution in the next week election.
In some of the past election, there were only national monitors such as representatives of candidates, political parties, and civil society and election bodies. As a result, the elections got to become controversial and the national monitors also failed to properly supervise from the election process. This issue has not only damaged the new democracy of Afghanistan, but also caused a lot social and political problem in the country. According to a survey carried out in recent weeks, around 56 Afghan people are not willing to take part in election due to distrust on the process. Therefore, beside national monitors we need to pave the way for presence of international monitors in Afghanistan. Otherwise, we will not be able to restore the credibility of election and democratic process in the country.
Unfortunately, the political parties and civil society organization are not strong enough to attract people’s trust and support for the national process. Therefore, it is not too hard for the candidate teams to penetrate the national monitors. In last elections, a large number of national monitors were influenced by the opponent teams and so, the most important national process was defamed in the country. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to prevent from election fraud and restore its credibility is to increase national and international monitors in the Election Day.
Obviously, there are many advantages for transparent election, especially in the current political condition of Afghanistan.  Firstly, a transparent election is the most important way to fight against Taliban and increase legitimacy of the government. Transparent election and widespread participation in election is a big no to Emirate extremist system in the country. As around 9 million people registered for voting; if they all participate, it will mean that absolute majority of Afghan people reject Emirate. If this happens, no power will be able to impose its barbaric system on majority of people while they have international allies also beside us. In this case, Taliban will have no way, except meaningful talks to the republican people of Afghanistan.
Secondly, Taliban will come to confess that peace talks will not be enough with the US. They will understand that a sustainable peace is possible only through meaningful negotiation with opposition of emirate and supporters of republicanism in the country. election is the greatest opportunity for Afghan people provided that not spoiled with poor election management and poor security management. If we had not missed the political and economic opportunities in past eighteen years, today we would be the current condition.  Consequently, a poor election many farther open the way to Emirate and other extremist groups in the country.
Thirdly, a credible and transparent election will not only legitimize the next Afghan government, but also delegitimize its alternative options in the public opinion on condition that succeed to hold a sound election in the country.  In recent years, different alternations have been raised such as interim government, Emirate and so on because the Independent Election Commissions (IEC), as responsible entity, was not successful in institutionalization of election and smooth transition of power in the country. 
On contrary to the above mentioned suppositions, if we fail to hold a successful and transparent election and once again repeat the crisis as in 2014, the consequences will not be predictable for the country. Given the current condition of country, especially extreme poverty, insecurity and peace process, Afghanistan extremely needs to a transparent election. In this condition, Afghanistan will not be able to tolerate such elections and the public reaction will also be different.  

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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