Clearing the way for fair elections

George Cunningham on the difficulties of preventing vote-rigging in a divided land

The World Today Published 27 September 2018 Updated 9 November 2020 3 minute READ

George Cunningham

Served as Deputy Ambassador, European Union Delegation, to Afghanistan, 2016-18

The scene is now set for a new cycle of potentially controversial elections in Afghanistan. Elections to the Wolesi Jirga, the country’s parliament, and for the first time district councils, have been scheduled for October 20, the former already three years late. But these are regarded as just the opening scene for the battle royal of the presidential election on April 20, 2019.

International donors are determined that the parliamentary elections timetable should not slip any more, despite continual setbacks. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is helping the Afghan government prepare, backed by a group of international donors offering support, ideas and about €100 million to stage the 2018 elections, with more money in the pipeline for the presidential poll in 2019. The European Union has launched a project to counter voter fraud.

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