Survey on peace and election from the perspective of representatives of the National Assembly
In this survey we examined the views and stance of the National Assembly representatives on two important and crucial issues of peace with the Taliban and the holding of presidential elections. The main focus of this study was to prioritize two important issues that should be addressed and prioritized in the case of conflict. In general, as stated above, the majority of the House of Representatives is the main supporter of democracy and the values of the republican system. The overwhelming majority of MPs back the election, but are also concerned about the challenges ahead. Everyone wants elections, but insists that all civil society organizations and election teams/tickets must be mobilized effectively using biometric technology to prevent fraud. Regarding peace, most of the MPs are eager to support the peace process, but they do not want to undermine the democratic values and political system of the republic. The democratic tendencies of the MPs are very positive and promising. Our first question to the National Assembly representatives was about the possibility of holding the presidential election, which is to be held on October 18th of this year. So we asked the Members of Parliament whether they thought the elections would take place at the appointed time. Most survey participants were optimistic about the likelihood of elections. As it can be seen in the following figure, 59% answered positive /yes to our question. However, 41% of MPs were skeptical of the election. One of our main concerns undoubtedly is the integrity and inclusiveness of the forthcoming elections, as all citizens of the country are feared, given the bitter experience of corruption and fraud in past elections, including the 2014 presidential election and the 2018 parliamentary election, are susceptible to widespread fraud and corruption in the electoral process. And the crisis of the consequences and the rejection of election results by the losing teams. So our next and most important question was whether members of the National Assembly had a positive or negative opinion about the integrity and inclusiveness of the presidential election. We asked them to choose one of two options: "Sound and valid “and " unsound and Invalid". Representatives disagree on the integrity, fairness and inclusiveness of the elections, and among the 55% of respondents, the forthcoming election is likely to be full of fraud.
They believe the upcoming elections will be far worse than the 2014 elections. For further clarity, the average of the answers given is shown in the figure. It is obvious the in taking stance the MPs in the elections, their neutrality or their support for specific teams is also important. Our findings show that only 24% of MPs want to maintain impartiality, while 76% say they will support a team. Our observation of the plenary sessions and parliamentary committee’s sessions shows that exactly the 76 percent of the MPs who said in the survey that they support a team, are absent from parliamentary sessions and meetings, and are more busy in campaigning. Figure 4 shows the percentage of MPs who want to maintain neutrality or support specific teams. Of course, despite the positive views of the MPs on the conduct of the elections and the announcement of readiness to participate actively and support specific teams, the majority of the MPs have a negative view on the transparency and fairness of the forthcoming elections. They are concerned about widespread fraud and corruption in the election process. For the electorate, the upcoming election will be the most challenging. In our survey, participants interpreted security threats as the most important and serious challenge. 40% of respondents emphasized that insecurity, and especially the widespread influence of the Taliban, is a major threat to holding transparent and inclusive elections. The Taliban will bring down the level of public participation in the elections, and will decline observation of people and non-governmental organizations to monitor the voting process as low as possible. Along with security threats lack of support from the international community, electoral crimes, impartiality and violation IEC's impartiality, government intervention and low public participation are challenges that the election will face. In Figure 5, the MPs’ views on electoral challenges have been outlined. Our other goals in doing this research was to find appropriate ways to conduct healthy and fraud-free elections. So we asked the participants to tell us if they find a solution to prevent fraud. According to MPs, the use of technology and biometrics technology in the right way can be a decisive factor in preventing fraud. Of course, along with the use of monitoring technology by civil society organizations and the monitoring of election teams of the electoral process, are two crucial factors for electoral integrity. According to the MPs' proposal, the election teams should employ some observer and monitor the election process thoroughly to minimize the potential for fraud and government interference in the electoral process. In addition, civil society institutions have a crucial responsibility to oversee the election process. Monitoring and observation of civil society because of their impartiality can be an effective option that can be used as a criterion for assessing the legitimacy of an election if the election goes critical and the outcome is rejected by the various teams. Amongst the participants surveyed, 40% insist on using technology, 30% favored using electoral observation by CSOs, 27% emphasized on observation of Electoral tickets, Electoral tickets should strive to attract, by any means possible, volunteer or paid observers to monitor the electoral process effectively. Undoubtedly, the extensive effort and commitment of the electoral tickets can provide the basis for a fair and transparent election. Figure 7 shows the viewpoints of the survey participants in this regard. The coincidence and isochronism of the peace process and the election, both of which are of a significant importance, raise the question of which one should be given priority in case of conflict between the two issues of election and strive for peace. According to the participant, both peace and elections are extremely important and should be worked simultaneously on both. Overall, 71% of the MPs said that the elections should be held at the designated time, while the peace talk’s process should also be in progress. According to the representatives' viewpoint, elections and peace have no conflict. Therefore, the government must work on both issues at the same time. Of course, as Figure Eight shows, 23% of the MPs emphasized more on peace talks and that the elections should be postponed until peace was achieved and a serious focus shall be put on peace. About 6% of MPs declined to comment. As the US began peace talks with the Taliban, the Afghan government shifted attention to the issue of elections. On the other hand, the Taliban also avoided direct talks with the government. With the Taliban's opposition to direct talks with government representatives, the government also somehow revealed its negative stance on peace talks. Therefore, in this survey, we sought the views of the representatives on the functioning and position of the government in relation to the peace process. As can be seen in figure 9, 42% of the participants disagree with the government's stance on the peace talks. They believe that the government should create a widespread and inclusive process that negotiates with the Taliban on behalf of the people, especially political parties and civil society institutions, and allows for peace and put an end to violence. They accuse the government of neglecting and even disrupting the peace process. In addition to the fact that 24% percent strongly disapproved of the government's performance and position, the other 20 percent disagreed with the government's attitude and position on the peace process. Of course, 26 percent agreed with the government, and 12 % expressed satisfaction with the government's performance and recent government positions on peace. Since the chief administrator of the US government's peace dialogue, and especially is its special envoy, Mr. Khalilzad, the MPs' point of view and their theoretical stance on US performance and policies on peace with the Taliban was also of no use. For this reason, we also asked the MPs in the current survey what they thought about the US policy and practice of peace with the Taliban.
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