Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Essential Changes Can Commence after Changes in Political Parities

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Essential Changes Can Commence after Changes in Political Parities

Unluckily, the Afghan traditional political parties failed to play a constructive role in past two decades in the country. Instead of working for the country, they have downgraded to personal business firm. The political parties in Afghanistan are good in using words to advise others to act democratically but they themselves do not act democratically. They never hold the inside elections to choose their leaders democratically on the basis of elections. The leaders of democratic parties in Afghanistan are permanent except when they die, their parties are inherited to their sons or family members. When the political parties cannot act upon principle of democracy inside their parties, how can we expect them to implement democracy in national level? As long as they cannot egress from ethnicity boundary and personal interests, it is not rational to expect them act nationally or democratically? Only if they are limited in Kabul, is it not feasible to work in the country level. In fact, the current political parties in Afghanistan are the barrier of political development and national unity. Some of them overtly campaign for the interests of neighboring countries as we witnessed recently.
In the other word, Afghanistan has no standard political party which is described in political literature. According to Lapulomara and M. wiener, there are four conditions or features for standard political parties: firstly, the political parties have a permanent organization but not a permanent leader. In the other word, the political parties are not in the monopoly of a power seeking circle such family circle or ethnic circle. Secondly, the political parties must have widespread activities in national level and should not be merely in the hand of few parliamentary individuals or parliamentary fraction groups. Thirdly, the national and local leaders of political parties should try to hold power, not influence on power like pressure groups or civil society groups. Fourthly, the political parties should not appear just during election and then disappear until next elections.
Moreover, it is said that the political parties are sons of democracy; so, when there are no good sons to continue the legacy of father, a dictatorship will appear to thieve the gains of the dead father. In fact, political parties are response to practical needs of democracy. Without political parties, the democratic system will tend to gain dictatorship characteristics. The most important political party does not let the ruling leaders fall down to dictatorship. In addition, the political parties strengthen the political system through introducing good candidates, proposing useful programs, producing good ideas about political issues and so on. Based on competitive culture of political parties, the political power belongs to those who have good plan, practical strategy and useful programs for present and future of the country.
In order to revive the role of political party in the country, we need to make fundamental changes in political parties of the country. Firstly, the current political parties must be rescued from monopoly of traditional leaders and traditional system through disbandment of all the current parties. The current parties are not changeable through advices. In fact, they are addicted to have a share in power and corruptions, but not a share in construction of the country. Therefore, the young intellectuals and technocrat groups of the country must have a historic movement to rescue the new democracy of the country. Without dismantlement of the current parties, the technocrat groups of society will never succeed to establish a bigger coordination or unity on the basis of democratic values beyond their respective tribe because the current parties act as barrier, even act as cancer against political development in the country. The monopolistic family circles of political parties neither are able to gain the trust of people and nor able to contribute in state building process in the country. If the political parties are managed in accordance with modern criteria and standards, they can become strong through winning the heart of people and attracting high qualified members. This way, strong political parties will lead to strong Afghanistan. 
After disbandment of the political parties, the new political parties must be strictly legalized in Afghanistan. According to clause 6, 7, 8 and 9 of the article fourteenth of regulatory bill for establishment and registration of political parties in ministry of justice, no political parties should be formed on the basis of ethnicity, location, language and religion while all parties pertained to their respective groups. All people of Afghanistan, regardless of any ethnical or religious affiliations, should see their own identity in establishment of political parties but none has respected the regulatory principles yet. Legally, political parties must have at least 20 offices across Afghanistan; the purposes of these branches are to pave the way for being in touch with the people and receive the demands and supports of the people bridging between government and people. In addition, it should protect the people from the direct blow of power which may come from the ruling government.
Based on law, each political party should have at least 35 members from each 34 provinces of the country, and also establish provincial level offices. The local party organizations are of particular importance for a stable and active party. Here, members can be politically active and have the deepest contact with their party and politics in general. Local party organizations should conduct regular membership meetings, and support, promote and integrate (new) members. These should be invited to the party and district meetings and social events, as well as to discussions on local politics issues and local initiatives, for instance, residential development such as building road, schools, business settlements etc.
By and large, without fundamental changes in current countless political parties, our democracy will remain imperfect and our people will remained divided on the basis of race, not political programs.  Only, standard parties can bring these important changes. They mobilize voters, raise awareness, facilitate governance and monitor the opposing party in power. They articulate and integrate different interests, visions and opinions. They are also the main source for the recruitment of political elites. The current political parties are not able to play a constructive role in the country unless they disband or start serious reforms from themselves.

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

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