General report on 2005 Wolesi Jirga and Provincial Council Elections In Afghanistan
Following the implementation of some other national processes, our country, with the help of the peace-loving nations of the world, has now opened, after a long period of anticipation, a new chapter in its history. By setting to re-establish our National Assembly, one of the major pillars in any democratic system, we have fulfilled one of the most severely felt needs in our society. With the conduct of the Wolesi Jirga (WJ) and Provincial Council (PC) elections, our country has taken a positive step towards the consolidation of the peace process and the institutionalization of democracy, a requirement for any prosperous and lawful society. The conduct of these elections is, without doubt, an indication of the country’s solid move towards the rule of law. The holding of the elections marked the end of the Bonn Agreement and the Transitional Period. However, it also represents the start of a tortuous new road to a brighter future, which we will achieve as long as we remain strongly committed to the rule of law. Active participation of the Afghan people in the election process as voters and candidates is a clear sign that they have fulfilled their national duty vis-à-vis their country and people. This enthusiastic participation of the public in national processes will certainly add to the legitimacy of the latter and consolidate the foundations of democracy in the country. Experience shows that the conduct of such elections in countries that have just emerged from years of war and disunity, like Afghanistan, is accompanied, at the beginning, with certain problems and challenges, including electoral offenses, legal shortcomings, lack of awareness about the process, poor election management, seat allocation, financial issues, the choice of an appropriate election system, etc. As a result, elections may not be perceived well by the public, or their results may not be to the taste of some of the contestants, as in all elections there would be both winners and losers. Having said the above, it is important not to get disillusioned by these elections. Rather, one should think of how to improve things in the future by strengthening one’s participation in a fashion that would lead to a more free-and-fair electoral process free of any form of fraud. During the two recently held electoral processes, Afghans have clearly showed that they are truly interested in consolidating the pillars of democracy in the country. They have sent a strong signal that they are weary of war and relentless struggle for power. They not only did a wonderful job as voters and candidates, but also closely monitored the elections to ensure their transparency.
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