Sunday, July 26, 2015

Governance News

Corruption. One of the biggest problems in establishing security and governance in Afghanistan is the pervasive corruption found at all levels. A recent article by Parag R. Dharmavarapu entitled "Corruption and Graft in Post-Conflict Afghanistan"Student Pulse, Vol 7 No. 07, 2015, provides an in depth analysis of Afghan corruption. See also an article by Nasir Shansab on corruption at NewsMax.

More on Corruption. In 2012 an Asia Foundation public opinion survey of the Afghan population cited corruption as being ranked the second biggest problem in Afghanistan after insecurity. In 2014 Transparency International ranked Afghanistan at 172 out of 175 countries in the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. Transparency International is calling for the establishment of an independent anti-corruption agency (ACA) for Afghanistan. Read more in a press release by the organization.

New Electoral Reforms Commission. A new commission has been established for Afghan elections. United Nations officials (UNAMA) will be participating in an advisory role. Hopefully the commission will help in the reformation of the electoral system. International donors are threatening to withhold funding for new parliamentary elections unless electoral reforms are pursued.

Wolesi Jirga on Vacation. The Afghan parliament is taking a 45-day summer vacation leaving much needed legislation undone. The most pressing concern is the lack of a confirmed Minister of Defense. Kinda sorta like the U.S. Congress!

Hamid Karzai Comeback? There are some who are speculating on Karzai's motives and worry that he may stage a comeback for the presidency in the future. He is leveraging a personal network to continue to exercise influence even though he is out of office. Oh my gosh, please no. Just go away! Read more in "Fears and Hopes of a Hamid Karzai Comeback in Kabul", The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2015. See also "How Hamid Karzai Continues to Rule Afghanistan From Beyond the (Political) Grave", The Diplomat, July 25, 2015 for a unique perspective about Karzai's reliance on tribal politics rather than centralized government.

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