Martin Gerner, freelance journalist & correspondent, reports from Afghanistan
Donnerstag, 3. April 2014
Afghan elections (1): 2004 - 2014
Four pictures that show the enthusiasm of the Afghan voter registration and election campaign in Kandahar, a former Taliban fiefdom. Mind you though: these pictures are from 2004, when Hamid Karzai was elected first time after the Petersberg interim. Back then, the Afghan people were not less enthusiastic than today. Today though the Afghan public opinion is more weary of fraud and corruption though than ten years ago. Do they believe in the slogans of the presidential and provincial candidates nevertheless? Not more or less than in any other country probably. The political game, at any time, obviously serves to incarnate or embody the hopes of people. Others may seem disillusioned. I just came across a university professor this morning in Kabul who very strictly said he is not going to vote.
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Having said this, Afghan media take an active role in trying to make the election process transparent. Pajhwok for instance, Afghanistans major news agency, has put up a website under the name of Afghans vote. Voters are invited to send in their stories and critical observations via the social media, sms, facebook, twitter or small formated videos. The hope is that their contributions from the 34 provinces all over would add to help prevent the wide range of fraud and vote rigging that occured in the 2009 election. As in 2004 and 2009 there is this time an equally flourishing business of voter cards. Some media have reported of some 12.5 million voters for an assumed number of beteen 18 to 20 million voter cards. On the other hand independent control and complaint bodies are rather slightly better equipped than in the 2009 elections. Some Afghan media indeed suggest that with the wide range of publicized media attention on the campaign, a number of polls and surveys and a promise not to repeat what has so drastically darkened the socio-political landscape five years ago, serve as indicators that history will this time have a different outcome.
This is an independent blog on Afghanistan. I have been working regularly in Afghanistan as a freelance reporter and correspondent mostly with national German media in the past ten years. I've also been a trainer for a new generation of Afghan journalists and with organisations of the Afghan civil society, last not least an guest author with AAN Afghanistan Analysts network. All photos on this page are from the author, unless signaled differently. Reproduction in any illegal form is prohibited. This blog comes in English and in German language.
Dieser Blog versteht sich als ein unabhängiges Informations-Angebot zum Thema Afghanistan. Als freier Autor und Korrespondent arbeite seit Anfang 2004 regelmäßig am Hindukusch für deutsche Medien und ARD-Hörfunk, daneben vor allem auch in der Ausbildung afghanischer Journalisten/
-innen und der afghanischen Zivilgesellschaft. Der Blog versucht u.a. Stimmen von Afghanen stärker in die Debatte einfliessen zu lassen. Fotos in diesem Blog stammen sämtlich vom Autor soweit nicht anders gekennzeichnet. Das Reproduzieren oder die Verwendung in anderen Formen bedarf der ausdrücklichen Zustimmung.