Thursday, August 27, 2009

Whither Afghan Democracy?

The first election of Afghanistan was an inspiration. The second is a disaster. The first round of voting is rife with accusations of fraud. The Economist lays out one story of likely fraud. The second round, which it appears will be constitutionally necessary, may not happen. In fact, many are urging Pres. Karzai and Mr. Abdullah to agree to some sort of power-sharing arrangement to avoid a head-to-head vote. Article 61 of the Afghan Constitution is clear that "if in the first round none of the candidates gets more than fifty percent of the vote, elections for the second round shall be held within two weeks from the date the results are proclaimed..." Pretty cut and dry. There is no provision for any power-sharing agreement. If democracy is tested in trying times, Afghanistan is failing that test.

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