Presidential Elections in Afghanistan

The presidential elections in Afghanistan have once again been postponed from April to 28th of September 2019. Just like in the case of the parliamentary elections last October - due to security issues.

In the beginning of this year there was a first spark of hope for peace in Afghanistan in a long time, when the representatives of the US and the Taliban met in Qatar to discuss future options for peace and even came to agree on a draft framework. The agreement is a big step, but a lot more still has to be negotiated. The role of the Taliban and their relationship with the government will continue to be the essential element for peace in Afghanistan. The security situation therefore continues to be the major issue and core topic of the upcoming elections.

Human rights violation and a serious lack of women’s rights continue to have a persistent impact on the life of the Afghan people. The formal power of law and government are still heavily undermined by local and informal structures, which are deeply patriarchal and modelled by a conservative Islam. Women’s rights remain part of the power game between Taliban, anti-Taliban (often just as strictly conservative) and governmental forces. The Afghan state is still very weak, its force does not reach beyond the border of Kabul, which results in multiple autonomous systems of law being practiced locally and independently from formal power.

With the upcoming presidential elections and peace talks between the Taliban and US making progress, does Afghanistan has a chance to strengthen the governments formal power and to contribute to a transformation into a state of law? What chances do women have to acquire more secured rights? And finally, what are the chances of the candidates and how will Afghanistan possibly change under them?

Full video of the discussion with FAROUQ AZAM, former Minister of Education and Minister of Refugees of Afghanistan, Chairman ‘Movement for Peaceful Transformation of Afghanistan’