Monday, September 26, 2005

Updates on the Afghan vote

Radio Free Europe opines in The Message Of Lower Voter Turnout that turnout was low due to disaffection with the ballot:

With the burden of Afghanistan's march to democracy placed squarely on the shoulders of the Afghan people, roughly half of them exercised their democratic right by saying that they are not content with many of the people campaigning to represent them in parliament or, perhaps, with the speed at which their country is progressing.

If Afghanistan's democracy is to move forward in deeds and not just in words, this message by many Afghans must be heeded and steps taken to regain their confidence.

I don't buy it. I think it is perfectly natural that local legislative elections would not generate the same turnout. As I said before, it was a much tougher ballot to navigate. Many of the illiterate and semi-literate voters would be shut out from the vote. The notion that the presence of war criminals would lessen the turnout is strange. I would think that would increase the turnout as voters make sure that the candidates with dirty hands are turned out—there were plenty of candidates. Yet it is strange that the turnout was lower in Kabul than elsewhere.

One positive note comes from Reuters, Vote count continues, partial results emerging:

voter turnout in the historic polls was well over 50 percent; with 43 percent of all votes cast belonging to women and 57 percent belonging to men.
The results are expected in early October. I think analysts would do well to wait to see what comes out of this. Could be very interesting.

No comments: