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Afghanistan’s 2019 elections (6): Presidential campaign kicks off amid uncertainty

An IEC registration officer registers a voter at Naderia High School in Kabul as the IEC launched a 22-day top up voter registration across the country on 8 June. Photo: IEC Facebook page, 8 June 2018

An IEC registration officer registers a voter at Naderia Excessive Faculty in Kabul as the IEC launched a 22-day prime up voter registration across the country on eight June.

Photograph: IEC Facebook web page, 8 June 2018

The campaign to turn out to be Afghanistan’s new president will probably be launched later right now. As 18 candidates strategy the beginning line, AAN researcher Ali Yawar Adili seems at lingering doubts that the election will truly occur, on the rules on campaigning, and the divisions and splits within the numerous political parties which have taken place within the run-up to the campaign. As an annexe to this dispatch, he also re-publishes temporary biographies of the 18 males hoping to grow to be Afghanistan’s subsequent president, along with their operating mates.

18 presidential candidates will at this time embark on the 60-day presidential election campaign, despite several expressing a lack of confidence within the elections truly being held on schedule, on 28 September 2019. Their doubt emanates from two directions:

  • Insecurity is concerning some candidates, elevating their doubts as as to if an inclusive election is feasible. “In view of the present state of affairs in the country,” stated Nur ul-Haq Ulumi, once we lose our army personnel and civilians daily, the elections will probably face challenges.” That is undoubtedly true – a big proportion of Afghans shall be disenfranchised because they might not register or couldn’t vote, as the case within the parliamentary elections. Nevertheless, insecurity, Ulumi stated, might forestall the ballot from occurring at all.
  • Ongoing peace talks between the USA and the Taleban, and the intra-Afghan dialogue (see AAN’s reporting here, and here) have sparked what candidate Shaida Muhammad Abdali described as a “lack of belief” as as to if the elections would go ahead on 28 September. As we reported at the end of June: “The thought of the delay was, US officers informed the Wall Road Journal, “raised by U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in talks with numerous stakeholders and intermediaries.” The considering was that a longer time frame may be needed to safe a deal and that a change of government shouldn’t occur until the Taleban – submit a peace deal – might have a say. On the other aspect of the argument are involved that sacrificing elections may mean they are never again held. Abdali informed the media on 21 July that there had been expectations that the peace process would reach some sort of conclusion before the elections, but this had not yet happened, making a “confusion” between the 2 processes.

Some candidates again a potential delay. A member of Hizb-e-Islami, which is fielding social gathering leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Humayun Jarir, stated, “The peace process is in its crucial stage…. If it turns into extra critical and if there are indications that the path to peace is close to, we favor to have peace first and then conduct the elections in a peaceful surroundings.” Presidential hopeful Muhammad Shahab Hakimi stated that the Council of Presidential Candidates, which, he stated, included 13 out of 18 presidential candidates, had advised, in talks with Special Consultant of United Nations Secretary-Common, Tadamichi Yamamoto, a delay and a caretaker authorities. President Ghani is sort of contrary: in remarks through the cabinet assembly on 17 July, he stated, “I hope little question remains that election is inevitable, feasible, needed and our nationwide obligation.”

Regardless of all this, preparations and procedures haven’t stopped. On 23 April, Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) chair Zuhra Bayan Shinwari advised the press that no “complaints and objections had been filed towards the preliminary record of the presidential candidates” and it, subsequently, might affirm all of the 18 presidential candidates. Two days later, on 25 April, the IEC held (see its information bulletin no 11 right here)  a draw to determine the order of the candidates’ names on the poll. It then revealed (see here) the ultimate record of presidential candidates. That they had been capable of withdraw their candidacies until this level, but no one did so. If they withdraw from the competition after this date, their names will remain on the poll, however any votes forged for them will probably be not counted and their deposits won’t be returned (the money would go into state coffers). (1)

The IEC, on 15 July, issued accreditation letters to solely presidential candidates and their running-mates which is supposed to verify their candidacy and allow them to formally launch their marketing campaign as per the electoral calendar on 28 July (that is in line with article 19, para 1, section 12 of the electoral regulation). (One candidate Ghulam Faruq Nejrabi refused (media reviews right here and right here) to obtain his accreditation letter, saying, “We don’t settle for this accreditation letter of fraud till there’s peace and an interim authorities is established.” IEC deputy spokesman, Abdul Aziz Ibrahimi, nevertheless, informed AAN on 27 July that Nejrabi had refused to receive his accreditation letter in front of the media however did decide it up the following day.

On 25 July, the ECC held a press convention, saying it was “absolutely ready to obtain and evaluation complaints relating to the marketing campaign interval” within the centre and provinces.

The bounds and bounds of the election marketing campaign – and allegations of violations already

Article 76 of the electoral regulation units a 60-day marketing campaign interval for the presidential candidates, which ends 48 hours earlier than election day. (2) In response to the calendar (annexed to this AAN’s report) for this election, the campaign starts on 28 July and can proceed until 25 September. It is going to be adopted by a 48-hour period of silence, throughout which candidates, political parties and coalitions can’t maintain rallies, appear within the media, put up posters, billboards or ship messages by telephone or on social media before polling starts.

Head of the IEC Secretariat Habib ul-Rahman Nang has stated candidates can spend a most of just about 4 and a half billion afghanis (particularly 441,783,555 Afsor 5,522,294 USD). The electoral regulation leaves the calculation of this higher restrict to the IEC. (3) The regulation obliges candidates to report to the IEC their sources of funding, how a lot they spend and the overall categories of bills, with a high quality, threatened to these making false stories. Candidates are additionally banned from taking cash from overseas residents and states and diplomatic missions, this time with the specter of prison for those breaking the regulation. (4) On 27 July, the IEC also revealed the circumstances for the election marketing campaign which embrace that candidates, political events and coalitions can’t invite overseas residents or organisations to their marketing campaign actions nor can they take part in election marketing campaign actions.

A number of days before the campaign began, on 19 July 2019, the Election Help Group, which includes key donors (the European Union, Australia, Sweden, on behalf of the Nordic Plus group, Germany, Japan, the UK and america), NATO and UNAMA, issued a press release calling on President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Government Abdullah

…to publicly clarify concrete measures being taken to make sure that Government officers (at all levels) and state assets aren’t used to advantage or disadvantage any specific candidate; and to ensure that the IEC and Electoral Complaints Fee (ECC) will probably be given full autonomy/independence in the administration of the electoral course of.

The Election Help Group stated that it took “allegations of abuse of authority significantly and believes such accusations – whether or not actual or perceived – warrant consideration by the NUG leaders in an effort to reassure all candidates, the individuals of Afghanistan and its international companions, that the rules of truthful competition, shall be revered.”(5)

A number of days later, on 21 July, the Unbiased Directorate of Native Governance (IDLG) introduced a ‘hiring and firing ban’ for presidency positions. It stated it had halted all “new appointments and recruitments associated to the agency until the top of the election.” It stated that, based mostly on the decision of the IDLG leadership, nobody could possibly be appointed to authorities positions from grades one to eight in the centre, provinces, districts and municipalities until the top of the presidential elections. The IDLG stated that for many who had already been shortlisted (for any positions) or had undergone competitive checks, the remaining procedures for their appointment can be carried out solely after the election. Based mostly on this determination, state establishments might solely now appoint or dismiss certain individuals based mostly on “critical need, security problems, administrative corruption or the incompetence of staff.”

Regardless of the ban, Hanif Atmar’s Peace and Moderation ticket stated, in a press release, on 25 July, that “former president and presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani, in continuation of unlawful actions, yesterday appointed numerous high-ranking officials together with ambassadors and the top of the Afghanistan Cricket Board.” It stated these appointments “like other appointments within the last eight months” have completely political and marketing campaign dimensions and contravene electoral regulation and the rules and norms of political ethics.” It referred to as for a halt to “using authorities assets and authority by the ruling workforce for engineering the election, including the reversal of the current appointments.”

The reference is to President Ghani’s controversial appointment that of the former head of Afghanistan’s Oil and Fuel Regulatory Authority, Walid Tamim, as the new ambassador to India. Tamim himself tweeted on 26 July that, whereas he was waiting to receive agreement from India for him to go to Delhi, he had also been appointed to function the appearing deputy minister of finance for income and customs, one of the key revenue-raising positions in authorities. Tamim is underneath investigation for corruption by the Lawyer Basic’s Office in a case which spokesman Jamshid Rasuli stated concerned “embezzlement.” (6) On 24 July, Ghani additionally appointed (media report here) that Farhan Yusufzai would exchange Azizullah Fazli, as the new head of Afghanistan’s Cricket Board.

There have additionally been allegations of one other sort of violation of the regulation. On 20 July, the ECC stated it had acquired claims by individuals, as well as media reviews, about what it referred to as the “begin of premature election campaigning by some presidential candidates.” It stated it “critically” suggested, “all the presidential candidates to keep away from holding any gatherings, untimely marketing campaign, unfavourable competitions and activities of marketing campaign nature for the purpose of the election marketing campaign.” It reminded political events and candidates that untimely campaigning could possibly be penalised with “a warning, a ban on participation for part of or the complete election marketing campaign period, a ban on standing within the election, or a money effective, depending on the extent of the violation.” (7)

18 presidential candidates are running to become the next president of Afghanistan. They are expected to hit their campaign trail today.  Photo: Screenshot of candidate list from IEC Facebook, 25 April 2019

18 presidential candidates are operating to turn out to be the subsequent president of Afghanistan. They are anticipated to hit their marketing campaign path at this time.
Photograph: Screenshot of candidate record from IEC Facebook, 25 April 2019

Political celebration subject and positions (splits and divisions)

Because the campaign starts, a number of the candidates will benefit from the backing of political events. Regardless that the Afghan electoral system does not favour them, some parties especially the tanzims, the military-political factions that emerged as highly effective players through the conflict, are highly influential. (8) Their networks can organise campaigning, secure funding and mobilise help and voters. Most have seen splits since 2001. Nevertheless, in the months main as much as the start of the election marketing campaign, several influential political events have seen splits and divisions, primarily over which candidate to again. These are listed under.

The leadership council of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan held a gathering on the residence of the appearing head, and overseas minister Salahuddin Rabbani, on 19 January 2019, where members unanimously determined that Dr Abdullah was the get together candidate for the 2019 presidential election. Additionally they decided that Jamiat-e Islami would be a part of forces with Jombesh-e Melli Islami, led by first Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum, and Wahdat-e Islami, led by the former second vice-president and now the top of High Peace Council, Karim Khalili, beneath one ticket for the upcoming election.

Nevertheless, four days later, on 23 January, several Jamiat heavyweights, including former vice chairman Yusef Qanuni (see right here), Jamiat chief government and former Balkh governor Atta Muhammad Nur (see right here) and  former minister of water and power and former Herat governor Ismael Khan (see here) introduced by way of Fb that the “overwhelming majority of the leadership council members” had decided to “absolutely help” Hanif Atmar’s Peace and Moderation election ticket, with Qanuni as his first operating mate. They stated that Jamiat had fielded and supported Dr Abdullah because the celebration’s candidate within the 2009 and 2014 presidential elections, however that he had not been “profitable in his duties” in those elections, nor in his publish as chief government of the Nationwide Unity Authorities. The statement stated the management council, based mostly on “past experiences and numerous causes,” had concluded that introducing an “unbiased candidate” for the presidential election was not “justifiable”: this translates, it appears, into a choice that getting a Jamiat vice chairman was extra more likely to succeed than making an attempt to get a Jamiat president elected.  (9)

Qanuni, during a ceremony organised by Atmar’s Peace and Moderation ticket before going to the IEC for registration on 18 January 2019, highlighted the position played by Jamiat stalwarts Ustad Atta and Ismael Khan in placing together the ticket: “I can’t keep away from naming two personalities. If their continued efforts had not been made, we might not have succeeded.” Qanuni additionally named different backers: Kalimullah Naqibi, deputy head of Jamiat, Abdul Satar Murad, head of the political committee of Jamiat and former minister of financial system, Engineer Aref Sarwari, former head of NDS; Abdul Malek Hamwar, former minister of rural improvement and rehabilitation and; Baz Muhammad Ahmadi, deputy minister of inside for counter-narcotics.

Khalili’s Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami held a two-day, political-consultative meeting on 26 and 27 June before issuing a 15-point last resolution which included the assertion: “We announce to all supporters of the [party] throughout Afghanistan that the only election ticket supported by the social gathering is [Abdullah’s] Stability and Integration ticket.” This throws the get together’s weight behind Asadullah Sadati who was introduced by Khalili as Abdullah’s second running-mate. But Wahdat stalwart and Khalili protégé, present Second Vice-PresidentSarwar Danesh, is Ashraf Ghani’s second operating mate. Danesh was not completely happy concerning the celebration’s determination, writing on his Facebook web page on 28 June, that he had written the celebration constitution, which had been ratified on 3 September 2004 at the celebration’s first summit. Khalili, Danesh and Habiba Wahaj (who’s now an adviser to Danesh) have been then elected respectively as the leader and first and second deputies. Danesh additionally wrote that he and “numerous other celebration activists” had not been invited to the political-consultative meeting in June.

Sadeq Mudaber, head of Hezb-e Ensejam-e Milli (National Solidarity Social gathering), stated the get together’s political committee and the heads of provincial workplaces had held a gathering on 23 July where they as soon as again reiterated their “resolute and all-out help for  [Ashraf Ghani’s] State-Builder staff ” and introduced their “full readiness to actively campaign in its help.”

Nevertheless, 4 days earlier, on 19 July, the deputy chief of the get together, former Daikundi MP, Muhammad Nur Akbari, issued a press release saying his help for Atmar’s Peace and Moderation ticket. He referred to as on his supporters and “like-minded individuals in the centre [Kabul] and the provinces” to work for its victory. Two days later, on 21 July, he claimed in a publish that that they had did not persuade the celebration members and supporters to unify behind a single candidate and that this failure was on account of “double requirements” by “some parts inside the government” who needed to “weaken” the get together.

  • Inexperienced Development of Afghanistan

On 24 June, the Green Development of Afghanistan led by Ghani’s first operating mate, Amrullah Saleh, noticed a breakaway faction. The Qiyam – Fraksiyun-e Enshebi Rawand-e Sabz Afghanistan (Uprising – Splinter  Faction of Inexperienced Development of Afghanistan) is led by Timur Shah Bushar, a 2018 parliamentary candidate from Kabul, who introduced himself to AAN as having been a co-founder of the unique Green Development. The splinter group issued a press release with a four-point coverage position: Amrullah Saleh can’t characterize us in the upcoming election; his joining Ghani’s State-Builder election ticket is his personal choice; the Inexperienced Development had not but determined which election ticket to hitch and; it’ll quickly announce its determination in session with the individuals. Since then, the splinter group has held gatherings in Kapisa on 17 July and Parwan on 19 July to declare its existence in these provinces. One official of the splinter faction who asked to not be named informed AAN on 25 July that it had been in negotiations with three major teams (Atmar’s Peace and Moderation; Ghani’s State-Builder; and Abdullah’s Stability and Integration) and that vital progress has been made with the first – Atmar’s – ticket.

  • Hezb-e Paiwand-e Melli (Nationwide Accord Social gathering)

In the meantime, one celebration nonetheless appears united. Paiwand-e Melli, led by Sayyed Mansur Naderi, issued a press release on 21 January 2019 saying that the leadership board of the social gathering and all the dozens of political, social and cultural organisations throughout the country associated with it, “broadcasts its resolute help” for Atmar’s Peace and Moderation.

On the beginning line

A few of the tickets can be holding giant gatherings in the present day to inaugurate their campaigns. In the course of the subsequent two months, they will even journey to the provinces to drum up help from the voters. Safety can be a serious concern for these electioneering actions. The tickets with a hope of success will probably be making an attempt to rally help and achieve momentum to get their man by means of to the second spherical, or even with the hoping of profitable outright by getting 50 per cent plus of the votes on the primary round. The purpose of different tickets is more likely to position themselves within the election nicely sufficient to then drop out in favour of a stronger candidate within the hope of rewards in the next government.

What exactly the tickets can be providing voters isn’t but clear. Of the 18 tickets now operating in the presidential elections, no vital programme has but been announced. Solely Atmar’s ticket has spoken of a selected coverage – creating the submit of a chief minister by amending the constitution by way of a Loya Jirga.  Atmar himself confirmed this purpose in a current interview with Tolonews, during which he stated:

The agreement of our group is that if we win, we’ll keep the presidential system hundred per cent [but] beneath this technique, for the betterment of governance affairs [and] contemplating the profitable expertise of His Majesty [Zaher Shah’s] reign, we’ll create the submit of sadr-e azam [prime minister] by amending the constitution who shall be appointed and dismissed by the president.”

Plans and promises ought to turn into considerably clearer as the marketing campaign goes on, although Afghan election candidates usually are not recognized for presenting clear manifestos and programmes to voters. There may additionally be rounds of televised debates among the candidates and media interviews. In previous elections, not all candidates needed to be grilled by journalists. Ustad Sayyaf, for example, was notoriously camera-shy in 2014 (see AAN reporting on the position of the media in the final election marketing campaign). But, this can be a time when journalists can get to interview the nation’s main politicians and – if they dare – ask onerous questions.

Annexe: the 2019 presidential tickets

Temporary biographies of the candidates and their operating mates initially revealed on February 2019 when the preliminary record of candidates was released are given under. They are listed by the identify for the tickets adopted by each group.‘Justice’ and ‘peace’ are the 2 mostly used phrases to seem in the names. We comply with IEC’s order of the tickets on the poll.

Amniyat wa Adalat (Safety and Justice) staff led by Rahmatullah Nabil, a Pashtun from Maidan Wardak (see AAN bio here). He served as the top of President’s Protection Service (PPS) in the presidential palace beneath President Karzai after which as chief of Nationwide Directorate of Safety (NDS) from July 2010 to late 2015 (see AAN’s previous reporting here). He is a founding member of Mehwar-e Mardom-e Afghanistan coalition (AAN reporting right here). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Murad Ali Murad, a Hazara from Ghor province, who has served as commander of the Kabul Garrison until early 2019 (a place he resigned from so as to be able to run) and before as senior deputy minister of interior for safety, first deputy of chief of military employees, and common commander of ground forces (see additionally his brief bio on a Fb page of his supporters here).
  • Dr Massuda Jalal, a Tajik from Badakhshan, who was a presidential candidate within the first, 2004 presidential election, after which served as the minister of girls’s affairs from October 2004 to July 2006 (see also AAN’s previous reporting right here). She was a candidate within the October 2018 parliamentary elections from Kabul however was not elected.

Modar Watan (Motherland led by Nurullah Jalili, a Sayyed from Nangarhar province who graduated from Kabul Medical University. He beforehand worked for the Ministry of Overseas Affairs beneath the Taleban. He is the director of the Kabul-based road-construction firm America. Each he and his firm labored as contractors with the US army (in accordance with diplomatic sources). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Khalil Roman, a Tajik born in Kabul, who has graduated in journalism, was a member of the Parcham department of Individuals’s Democratic Get together of Afghanistan, has served as chief of employees of former President Dr Najibullah, and deputy chief of employees of former President Karzai. He was an unsuccessful candidate in 2010 parliamentary elections from Kabul province.
  • Cheragh Ali Cheragh, has served as director of Kunduz public well being department, head of Jamhuriyat hospital, Kabul Medical Institute, appearing head of Shahid Rabbani Schooling College, and head of Balkh University (media report here). Cheragh was the second running-mate of Dr Abdullah in the 2009 presidential elections.

Tadbir wa Tawse’a (Prudence and Improvement) staff led by Dr Faramarz Tamana, a Tajik born in Herat, who holds two PhD degrees within the area of worldwide relations and research from Tehran College, Iran, and Jawaharlal Nehru College, India. He has worked with the Ministry of Overseas Affairs in numerous capacities since 2002. Earlier than registering to run for the presidential elections, he was head of the Centre for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Overseas Affairs. He has been educating as a lecturer in several universities for the final ten years and is the chancellor of a personal Afghanistan University. His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Pohanmal (Professor) Sayyed Qias Saidi, born in Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province. Sa’idi has completed his larger schooling in the area of economics from the College of Nangarhar and Ruhr College Bochum, Germany. He has labored with UNICEF as the top of public outreach and knowledge in Nangahar, answerable for the regional office of the United Nations Refugees Agency in japanese provinces, and head of Nangarhar provincial department of financial system.
  •  Dr Muhammad Amin Reshadat, a Hazara born in Ghazni, holds a PhD in sociology (improvement and social change) from Shiraz University in Iran. Reshadat is presently deputy chancellor and a member of the founding board of personal Gharjestan University in Kabul. (The biographical info is extracted from their biographies revealed in Dari on Tamana’s Fb account on 17 January 2019.)

Musharekat wa Taghir (Participation and Change) group led by Shaida Abdali, a Pashtun from Kandahar, who holds a master’s degree from the US and a PhD from India, and served as former deputy head of the National Security Council beneath former President, Hamed Karzai. Abdali has additionally been ambassador to India (2012-18). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Abdul Basir Salangi, a Tajik from Parwan, is a member of Jamiat-e Islami get together, has served as chief of police in Kabul, Maidan Wardak and Nangarhar between 2002 and 2009, as well as the governor of Parwan and Farah in 2009-18 (see additionally this).
  • Zulfiqar Omid, a Hazara from Daikundi, is the leader of Labour and Improvement get together and is among the leaders of the Enlightening Movement, a predominantly Hazara protest movement that emerged in protest to the rerouting of TUTAP power line from Bamyan to Salang (see AAN background here and right here). Omid served as the director of international relations at the administrative workplace of the president throughout Karzai’s second time period, and was an unsuccessful parliamentary candidate 2018 from Kabul and 2004 from Daikundi.

Wefaq-e Melli (National Accord) workforce led by Ahmad Wali Massud, a Tajik from Panjshir, who’s another leading Jamiat member and brother of assassinated mujahedin chief Ahmad Shah Massud. He served as Afghan ambassador to London for many years, starting underneath the ISA authorities of Prof Borhanuddin Rabbani (1992-96). At the moment, he heads the Ahmad Shah Massud basis in Kabul. Massud’s first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Pohand Dr Farida Momand, a Pashtun from Nangarhar, who has served as professor at Kabul Medical University and dean of the paediatric department, and minister of higher schooling from President Ghani’s camp from April 2015 to 14 November 2016, when she lost a vote of confidence within the Wolesi Jirga (see AAN’s background right here and right here); She was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2009 provincial elections,  the 2010 and 2018 parliamentary elections.
  • Dr Latif Nazari, a Hazara from Ghazni, holds a PhD in international relations from Tehran College, Iran, and is the founding father of Eslahat Newspaper and the top of the board of founders of private Gharjestan College. Nazari was a 2018 parliamentary candidate from Kabul, however did not win (his bio on his supporters’ Fb page here). Nazari was previously a member of Hezb-e Wahdat-e Mardom led by Muhammad Mohaqeq.

Masuliat wa Adalat (Duty and Justice) workforce, led by Nur Rahman Liwal. He was born in Logar province and is a computer and software engineer and the founder and proprietor of Pashto language software program firm in Kabul (media report here). He was also a candidate within the 2014 presidential election. His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Abdul Hadi Zul-Hekmat, a Pashtun from Logar province
  • Muhammad Yahya Wyar, a Pashtun from Khak-e-Jabar district of Kabul province, and a medical doctor with Jihadi background. He was a candidate for each 2014 and 2018 WJ elections, however did not be elected. He labored as a public outreach officer for the Joint Election Administration Body (JEMB) in 2005.

Solh, Qanuniat wa Refah (Peace, Lawfulness and Welfare) workforce led by Shahab Hakimi, a Pashtun from Maidan Wardak province, who holds a level in agriculture from Kabul University and a master’s diploma in administration from Preston University, Islamabad. He has worked as a lecturer at Kabul and, lately, as the director of the Mine Detection Centre. He was an unsuccessful candidate within the 2005 Wolesi Jirga elections. His first and second running-mates are respectively (media studies here and right here):

  • Nur ul-Habib Hasir (no info out there thus far)
  • Abdul Ali Sarabi (no info out there up to now)

Dawlat-sazan (State-builders) group led by Muhammad Ashraf Ghani, a Pashtun from Logar province, who’s the incumbent president. He has served as an adviser to former President Karzai during his interim administration, chancellor of Kabul University, and minister of finance. He was a candidate within the 2009 presidential elections and ranked fourth. He was appointed by Karzai as the top of the Transition Coordination Fee. The workforce’s title probably refers to Ghani’s ebook Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World (2009, with Clare Lockhart). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Amrullah Saleh, a Tajik from Panjshir, and a former Jamiati who has distanced himself from his previous celebration. He now runs his own Green Development of Afghanistan, which he established after his resignation as NDS director in 2010 and had its first public look on 5 Might 2011. Saleh supported Dr Abdullah in the 2014 presidential election. In the course of the NUG, he co-headed the fact-finding commission investigating the 2015 fall of Kunduz. He was appointed as state minister for safety reform in March 2017, but resigned after three months and as minister of interior in December 2018. After less than a month, he resigned once more to have the ability to run on Ghani’s ticket (see AAN background right here and here).
  • Second Vice-President Sarwar Danesh, a Hazara from Daikundi province, served as the first governor of Daikundi (after it was established in 2004), minister of justice and higher schooling beneath former President Karzai. Danesh was a member of the constitutional drafting commission in 2003. He’s a member of Khalili’s Wahdat-e Islami Celebration, which supported Ghani in the 2014 presidential election. Nevertheless, this time, Khalili’s social gathering has introduced its help for Abdullah.
  • It is very important notice Ghani has additionally picked a third, casual running-mate: Muhammad Yusef Ghazanfar, an Uzbek and former MP from Balkh, and brother of former minister of girls’s affairs, Husn Banu Ghazanfar (diplomatic supply). Ghazanfar was current at Ghani’s registration and may function an adviser or particular consultant to him, till any attainable modification to the constitution to create a 3rd vice-presidential publish. An concept had been floated to amend the constitution to create a third vice-presidential submit, however in additional sensible terms, this step is a bid to garner the votes of the Uzbek group, the fourth-largest ethnic group of the country. (On Ghani’s 2014 ticket, Dostum was the vice-president ‘for the Uzbeks’; there was no Tajik on the ticket then.)

Subat wa Hamgerayi (Stability and Integration) workforce led by Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the present chief government of the National Unity Government and a outstanding member of Jamiat-e Islami. After 2009 and 2014, this is the third time Abdullah has run for the presidency. Some leaders of his get together, similar to Ismail Khan, had requested him to not run once more, criticising him for his – in his view – too quiet position in what he referred to as the “kindergarten” National Unity Authorities. Abdullah’s first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Dr Enayatullah Babur Farahmand, an Uzbek born in Jawzjan, who holds a medical degree from Balkh University and has served as correspondent, producer and reporter with the BBC Uzbek service. He was an MP from 2010 to 2015, and chief of employees of first Vice-President Common Abdul Rashid Dostum from 2015 until January 2019 when he resigned to be Dostum’s man in Abdullah’s ticket (see his bio on his Facebook web page in English here).
  • Asadullah Sadati, a Hazara MP from Daikundi, who holds a level in literature from Kabul University and a grasp’s diploma in international relations from the personal Ibn-e Sina Unversity, also Kabul. He was an MP from 2010 to 2019 and is affiliated with the leader of 1 faction of Hezb-e Wahdat-e Islami and head of High Peace Council, Muhammad Karim Khalili.

Amal mekonem, sho’ar na medehem (We act, we do not chant slogans) workforce led by Hakim Tursan, an Uzbek born in Kabul. He graduated in Persian literature from Kabul College, and served in numerous intelligence capacities underneath former President Dr Najibullah. He ran in 2009 (but withdrew earlier than the marketing campaign) and 2014 (in line with his bio, his supporters revealed). His running-mates are respectively:

  • Nader Shah Ahmadzai, a Pashtun from Kabul, who’s head of Civil Rights and Research Organisation of Afghanistan. He was one of many 17 presidential candidates disqualified in the 2014 presidential election
  • Muhammad Shafi Qaisari, an Uzbek from Qaisar district of Faryab (see additionally right here). He graduated from the Polytechnic Engineering School on the University of Kabul and is a former head of Governmental Housing Company (Tassadi-ye Microrayonha) in Kabul. Qaisari is a leftist and former member of the Jombesh celebration (in line with diplomatic sources).

Solh wa Adalat-e Islami (Peace and Islamic Justice) workforce led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a Pashtun from Kunduz, the undisputed leader of Hezb-e Islami until the post-2001 interval and now of considered one of its factions (AAN background). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Dr Fazl ul-Hadi Wazin, a Tajik from Parwan, who has a PhD diploma in Islamic research from Imam Muhammad Ben Saud College, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and served as a lecturer in International Islamic University in Islamabad, and a visiting professor in Fatema Jinah College, Pakistan.
  • Mufti Hafiz ul-Rahman Naqi, a Tajik from Badakhshan, who has served as a decide, in addition to in different capacities in the judiciary, and was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2010 and 2018 parliamentary elections.

The information about the two running-mates is extracted from their bios AAN acquired from a deputy spokesman for the get together, Fazl Ghani Haqmal. He claimed in a dialog with AAN on 7 February that Hezb-e Islami had picked the running-mates based mostly on deserves, and never on any division of ethnic teams. Haqmal stated that each running-mates have been members of Hezb-e Islami. Media had earlier wrongly reported that Wazin was an Uzbek (see here and here).

Azadi wa Adalat (Freedom and Justice) led by Abdul Latif Pedram, a Tajik from Badakhshan, who leads his personal celebration, the Tajik-ethno-nationalist and pro-federalism Nationwide Congress Celebration. Pedram was an unsuccessful 2004 presidential candidate, a two-term (2005-10 and 2010-19) former MP, and an unsuccessful 2018 parliamentary candidate from his residence province of Badakhshan. His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Ehsanullah Haidari, a Hazara from a outstanding household in Ashterlai district of Daikundi province. He has a level in sociology and archaeology from Kabul College. Haidari worked with a number of NGOs, including Oxfam and French Motion contre la Faim.
  • Muhammad Sadeq Wardak, a Pashtun from Maidan Wardak province. He attended faculty up to secondary schooling and is a former Jihadi determine. (The data about each comes from diplomatic group sources)

Mardomsalari, Enkeshaf wa Tawazun (Democracy [People’s Power]Improvement and Stability) group led by Nur ul-Haq Ulumi, a Pashtun from Kandahar, who leads his own political get together referred to as Hezb-e Mutahed-e Melli (National United Get together) and served as minister of inside from January 2015 to February 2016 (see AAN studies here and here). He was an MP from Kandahar from 2005 to 2010. Underneath the federal government of President Najbullah (1986-92), he was a common and head of the southwestern zone, ie ‘Higher Kandahar’. His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Bashir Bezhan, a Tajik from Badakhshan,  who has served as editor of Ariana Airlines journal Parwaz, editor of Khabar Negar and the founder and editor of the weekly cultural journal Cina magazine. He was and unsuccessful candidate in 2009 presidential elections and 2018 parliamentary elections from Kabul.
  • Muhammad Naim Ghayur, born in Guzara district of Herat, in accordance with his Facebook profile, is from a combined Tajik/Pashtun household. His father is originally from Ghor province and his mom hails from the Katawaz space of Paktika province. He holds a bachelor in regulation and political science degree, in addition to attended several army and intelligence courses in Afghanistan and overseas. He began his official governmental career as Enjil district direct of NDS and served in the ministry of defence in several capacities, including director of intelligence for 606 Ansar police zone in Herat province (2014-18). Ghayur is claimed to be a leftist, previously with the PDPA’s Parcham faction (diplomatic sources), and is at present a member of Ulumi’s get together.

Mubareza bar zed Zulm wa Be-adalati (Battle towards Oppression and Injustice) staff led by Muhammad Ibrahim Alekozai, a Pashtun from Kandahar, who is the top of the National Consensus of the Individuals of Afghanistan, a political coalition that got here collectively in 2017 (media report). Since then, the group has been taking positions on political points in a bid to determine political relevance. Alekozai is an elder of the eponymous tribe and chief of its council (based on diplomatic sources). He has graduated from political sciences from Kabul College and ran within the 2018 parliamentary elections in Kandahar, but was not elected (media report). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Khadija Ghaznawi, a Hazara born in Badakhshan (see here), however the family with origins from Ghazni (diplomatic sources), who tried to run together with her personal ticket within the 2014 presidential elections, however was disqualified (AAN’s studies right here and right here). Ghaznawi owns a logistic firm, and is the president of the Ibrahim Asia Group of Corporations.
  • Sayyed Similar Kayani from Ismaili-inhabited Kayan valley, Dushi district of Baghlan.

The as yet-unnamed ticket led by Ghulam Faruq Nejrabi, a Tajik from Kapisa province, who is the leaders of Hezb-e Esteqlal Afghanistan, holds PhD in surgery from Indira Gandhi College, India. It’s the third time he is operating for presidency (see additionally media report). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Sharifullah (no info obtainable up to now)
  • Muhammad Sharif Babakarkhel

Khademin-e Mellat (Servants of the Nation) workforce led by Enayatullah Hafiz, a Hazara from Behsud district of Maidan Wardak. He has graduated from language and literature from Shahid Rabbani Schooling University, Kabul. He has been an unsuccessful two-times candidate for provincial councils, as well as an unsuccessful one-time candidate for the Wolesi Jirga (media report right here). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Jannat Khan Fahim Chakari, a Pashtun from the Chakari area, Bagrami district of Kabul province. Chakari holds a bachelor diploma in army affairs and is a former army officer (diplomatic sources).
  • Abdul Jamil Shirani, additionally a Pashtun, from Kabul. He holds a bachelor degree and is a former worker of the Afghan Unbiased Human Rights Fee (diplomatic sources).

Solh wa Etedal (Peace and Moderation) group led by Muhammad Hanif Atmar, a Pashtun from Laghman, who has served as nationwide security adviser to President Ghani till 2018, and before as minister of rural rehabilitation and improvement, schooling and inside underneath President Karzai (who fired him – AAN background right here and right here). Atmar can also be a founding member of the Proper and Justice get together established in 2011 (AAN background right here). His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Former vice-president Muhammad Yunus Qanuni, a Tajik from Panjshir, is senior Jamiat member. In 2001, Qanuni served as chief negotiator for the ‘Northern Alliance’ delegation on the Bonn convention.  He was a candidate within the 2004 presidential election, ranking second. He also served as speaker of Wolesi Jirga from 2005 to 2010, MP from Kabul from 2010, and as first vice-president following the demise of Marshal Muhammad Qasim Fahim in March 2014 (AAN background right here) till October of the same yr.
  • Muhammad Mohaqeq, the second deputy to Chief Government Abdullah, and the chief of Hazara-dominated Hezb-e Wahdat-e Mardom-e Afghanistan. Mohaqeq served as a vice-president and the minister of planning in Karzai’s interim government, and was a candidate in the 2004 presidential elections, ranking third. He was a two-term MP from Kabul (2005-10 and 2010-14 when he resigned to hitch Abdullah’s ticket as second running-mate). On 24 January, President Ghani issued a decree dismissing Mohaqeq from his place as the deputy chief government, which he rejected as “illegal.” Chief Government Abdullah, who had nominated him, referred to as the dismissal as “completely in contradiction with the spirit of the political agreement founding the Nationwide Unity Government,” saying that the government would continue to serve until the subsequent presidential elections are held and “the subsequent professional authorities is shaped.”
  • Like Ghani, Atmar has additionally picked a third, informal running-mate, Alem Sa’i, an Uzbek and a former governor of Jawzjan. He’s a member of the anti-Dostum New Jombesh celebration, which declared its existence in June 2017 (AAN background right here).

Wahdat, Shafafiat wa Etedal (Unity, Transparency and Moderation) group led by Dr Zalmai Rasul, a Pashtun born in Kabul, however initially from Kandahar, who’s a medical doctor, and served as minister of transport and civil aviation, minister of overseas affairs, and national safety adviser to former President Karzai. Before 2001, he was the chief of employees of former King Zaher Shah in his exile in Rome. Rassul, with Ahmad Zia Massud and Habiba Sarabi as running-mates, additionally ran in the 2014 presidential elections (see here), and ranked third in the first round. His first and second running-mates are respectively:

  • Abdul Jabbar Taqwa, a Tajik from Farkhar district of Takhar, who was a member of Jamiat-e Islami during mujahedin (diplomatic sources) and has served as a governor of Parwan, Takhar and Kabul (see his biography here)
  • Ghulam Ali Wahdat, a Hazara from Bamyan, who has servedas a governor of Bamyan in addition to in a number of positions inside the ministry of inside, together with provincial police chief in Bamyan, police chief of the 404th Maiwand zone in southern Afghanistan, deputy minister of interior (see right here). He is the brother of MP Safura Elkhani. He competed for 2018 Wolesi Jirga elections and was sentenced to 3 years in jail for misusing his authority and, as of October 2018, was stated to be imprisoned, however nonetheless had the fitting to attraction (diplomatic sources).


Edited by Kate Clark



(1) Article 75 of the electoral regulation says:

  • In case a candidate withdraws from his/her candidacy, he/she is obliged to inform the Commission in writing prior to the date decided within the electoral calendar.
  • In case a candidate withdraws from his/her candidacy or dies after the date determined in the electoral calendar or if he/she is disqualified by the Complaints Commission, the votes related to him/her shall not be counted through the counting of the votes.
  • Only the deposit money of these candidates can be returned, who’ve withdrawn or died inside the time period decided within the electoral calendar.

(2) Article 76 of the electoral says:

  • The electoral marketing campaign period for candidates shall be determined within the following order: 1 Presidential election, 60 days. 2 Wolesi Jirga elections, 20 days 3 Provincial council elections, 20 days. 4 District council elections, 15 days. 5 Village council elections, 7 days. 6 Mayoral and municipal council elections, 20 days.
  •  The period talked about in clause (1) of this text ends 48 hours before the beginning of the Election Day.
  •  The tactic of electoral campaigns can be regulated via a separate process.

(3) The electoral regulation does not specify the higher restrict of marketing campaign expenses. Article 77 merely refers this situation to procedures to be enacted by the IEC, only saying that the variety of eligible voters, area and geographical location of the constituency ought to be taken into consideration when setting the expenses restrict. (three) On this case, It’s an electoral violation to spend more than this (article 98, para 1, section 11). Perpetrators ought to pay in fines ten % of their excess spending (para 2, section 6). The complete text ofarticle 77 is as follows:

  • The bounds for expenses by the candidates of Presidential, Wolesi Jirga, Provincial Councils, District Council, Village Council, Mayoral and Municipality Councils elections shall be decided making an allowance for the number of the persons eligible to vote, space and geographical location of the related electoral constituency, in accordance with procedures enacted by the Commission.
  • The candidates for the elected seats referred to in paragraph (1) of this text shall be obliged to accurately report to the Commission on their funding sources and limits and areas of bills of their electoral campaigns.
  • The candidates referred to in paragraph (1) of this article might not settle for or obtain monetary assistances from overseas citizens or states and/or diplomatic missions of the overseas nations based mostly in Afghanistan.

(4) Article 98 (para 1, part 5,) says, “refraining from well timed reporting or offering false stories relating to monetary affairs of electoral campaign” is an electoral violation, the perpetrators of which (para 2, section four) ought to pay a cash nice of 10,000 as much as 30,000 afghanis (125 to 375 USD) based mostly on the circumstances. Receiving funding from illegal sources and monetary assistance in money and in sort are electoral crimes (article 99, para 1, sections 6 and 7), with a punishment of a ‘medium time period’ of imprisonment, ie up to three years (para 2, section four).

Other related electoral violations are:

  • Use of symbol and other signs associated to the Commission and authorities establishments in the campaign supplies is a violation (para 1, section three), the petrators of which pay a cash high-quality of five thousand (5,000) up to fifty thousand (50,000) afghanis based mostly on the circumstances (para 2, part 2);
  • Scary or inciting individuals to commit violations is a violation (para 1, part four), the perpetrators shoud pay a cash superb of 40,000 as much as 80,000 afghanis based mostly on the circumstances and all votes of the relevant candidate must be invalidated within the related polling centers and stations (para 2, part 3).
  • Destroying the campaign materials of other candidates is a violation (para 1, part 6), the petrators of which ought to pay cash superb of 10,000 as much as30,000 afghanis (para 2, section 4)
  • Conduct of any campaigns in favor or towards a candidate by a authorities employee is a violation (para 1, part 13) with a money nice of cash advantageous of 10,000 afghanis (para 2, section 7)
  • Use of presidency’s belongings, amenities and assets in electoral campaigns (para 1, section 31), the perpetrators of which ought to pay  an amount of 50,000 as much as 80,000 afghanis, based mostly on the extent of violation (para 2, section 15).

(5) Assertion from the Election Help Group (ESG) on the 28 September Presidential Election

The Election Help Group (ESG) includes the important thing donors– the European Union, the Governments of Australia, Sweden (on behalf of the Nordic plus), Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, america of America – as well as NATO and the United Nations Help Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). It is chaired by UNAMA and convenes on a weekly foundation.

19 July 2019 – In the context of the preparation for the 28 September poll, Ambassadors of EU, Germany, Japan, UK, US and UNAMA, on behalf of the Election Help Group (ESG), met with President Ghani and Chief Government Abdullah to debate the position of the 2 leaders in building public trust and confidence in the presidential election process. The Ambassadors welcomed the Government of Afghanistan’s commitment to finance a good portion of the election price range, which displays its commitment to Afghan possession and sustainability of the electoral process.

The Ambassadors welcomed the said commitment of each leaders to a credible election and appreciated the two presidential decrees issued in February relating to non-interference of Authorities officers and safety forces. Nevertheless, the Ambassadors noted the general public considerations about sustaining a degree enjoying subject amongst all candidates and stakeholders in addition to the elemental equity requirement to take care of the independence of the Unbiased Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC). The ESG takes allegations of abuse of authority critically and believes such accusations – whether actual or perceived – warrant attention by the NUG leaders with a view to reassure all candidates, the individuals of Afghanistan and its worldwide companions, that the rules of truthful competitors, might be revered.

On this regard, the Ambassadors referred to as on the President and the Chief Government to publicly explain concrete measures being taken to make sure that Authorities officers (at all ranges) and state assets are usually not used to advantage or disadvantage any specific candidate; and to guarantee that the IEC and Electoral Complaints Fee (ECC) will probably be given full autonomy/independence in the administration of the electoral process.

As candidates in positions of authority, both leaders have a special duty to obviously distinguish between their position as Authorities officers and as presidential candidates. Each leaders shouldn’t only conduct themselves in a fashion that is in line with the Election regulation and Code of Conduct they signed, but to also set an example for different candidates. In this respect, the ESG also encouraged NUG officials who’ve a task in the election campaigns of each leaders to publicly and formally step apart from their positions in the course of the election campaign.
The Election Help Group will proceed to intently monitor developments.

(6) On 19 July, the press office of Second Vice-President Danesh announced that four individuals had been appointed as advisers to him on 16 July. They are:

  • Nader Eshani, son of Muhammad Hussain
  • Abul Qasem Khadri, son of Muhammad Hashem
  • Muhammad Sadeq, Ali Yawar son of Ali Bakhsh
  • Dr Ahmad Jawid Alemi

(7) Statement by the Unbiased Electoral Complaints Fee relating to the premature 2019 presidential election campaign

The Unbiased Electoral Complaints Fee (ECC) has acquired claims concerning the begin of untimely election campaign by some presidential candidates, which contravenes the electoral regulation.

The ECC is reviewing the complaints relating to the launch of premature marketing campaign filed with the ECC by the individuals and media stories.

The ECC reminds all the candidates, political events and all countrymen that based mostly on paragraph one among article 76 of the electoral regulation, the election marketing campaign interval for presidential candidates is 60 days. Subsequently, based mostly on part 10 of paragraph one in every of article 98 of the regulation, conducting election marketing campaign before or after the required period is an electoral violation. The ECC critically advises all the presidential candidates to avoid holding any gatherings, premature marketing campaign, damaging competitions and actions of campaign nature for the aim of election campaign.

Also in accordance with paragraph one among article 90 of the electoral regulation, the central and provincial ECCs can look at the election campaigns inside their authorities and duties.

Thereby all countrymen are requested to tell the ECC once they observe any premature marketing campaign by the presidential candidates so that the violators are handled legally.

In view of the articles of the regulation referred to, political parties and candidates ought to bear in mind that the premature campaign will probably be penalised with warning, depriving from half or all election marketing campaign period and depriving of participation within the election or money high-quality considering the extent of violations. The ECC is the one authorized and protected authority for addressing electoral complaints and objections.

(eight) The Ministry of Justice’s website is at present displaying 74 registered political parties, but solely a fraction of these are influential.

(9) Early January 2019, Ariana Information obtained Qanuni’s audio dialog by which he had stated that the presidency could not be gained by “us [Tajiks/Jamiat]”, blamed Salahuddin for making a cope with Abdullah who, he stated, needed to retain the publish of the chief government. Qanuni had also stated that Atmar, in contrast to Ghani, agreed to altering the current presidential system structure and that it was solely Atmar who might “oust Ghani from the arg [presidential palace].” On 8 January, Qanuni launched a video message on his Fb saying that the audio of his phone dialog with “a good friend abroad” had been leaked to the media “towards all the ethical norms.” He confirmed the content material of the dialog about altering the political construction.