Afghanistan Presidential Elections Essay

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Afghan Presidential Elections Ashley Noe, Victor Lindsey, Prentice Rouse, Paul Salabarria SOC/100 June 5, 2012 Janine Bunke Afghan Presidential Elections Afghanistan’s president (currently Hamid Karzai) is chief of state and head of government. The president is directly elected to a five-year term. All citizens age 18 and older may vote (“Government,” ). [Hamid Karzai] is considering holding the presidential elections a year early to avoid a potentially deadly concurrence of a transition of power and a major drawdown of international forces in 2014. Both the 2009 presidential election and the 2010 parliamentary poll were marred by violence and drawn-out disputes over fraudulent ballots despite the presence of foreign troops, and many fear attacks will spike as Afghan security forces try to protect the country without combat assistance. The prospect of an early departure for the controversial leader would please those who are ready for a fresh start because they don’t think Karzai has done enough to battle corruption or improve daily life in the impoverished country (Vogt, 2012). In comparison to the 2009 election, nearly 600 additional voting stations were closed for the 2010 election. These closures happened in the least secure areas of the country, where the people who were most likely to oppose the current government lived. In a war that many say can only be ended through political reconciliation, systematically disenfranchising the people you are seeking to reconcile – regardless of the validity of the reason – is not a very positive development. Interestingly, provinces that were deemed the safest saw the most voting stations closed while provinces that had multiple high-profile U.S.-led campaigns to defeat the insurgency had more polling stations open (PBS, ). The Afghan government’s limited writ and widespread official corruption are believed by

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