Sunday, February 25, 2018

Governance and Politics in Afghanistan

Corruption in Afghanistan. Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Afghanistan as the 4th most corrupt country in the world, trailing only Syria, South Sudan, and Somalia. See "Afghanistan Ranked 4th Most Corrupt Country For this Year", Tolo News, February 22, 2018.

2nd Provincial Governor Refused to Leave. President Ghani's office approved and announced the appointment of new heads for five provinces - including Samangan in the north. Samangan is just south of Balkh province. The current governor, Abdul Karim Khedam, refused to leave his post - becoming the second governor to resist removal. See "Another Provincial Governor Defies Dismissal Orders from Afghan President", Voice of America, February 18, 2018. But . . . eventually he stepped aside. (Khaama Press, Feb 20, 2018).

Dostum Speaks from "Abroad". First Vice President Dostum is still in Turkey (going on six months). He recently weighed in on current events in Afghanistan. "Dostum Makes Suggestions To Govt Despite Being in Exile", Tolo News, February 22, 2018.

E-Tazkera Crisis. Afghanistan is dividing along ethnic and political lines over the issuing of an electronic identity card. The main debate centers on ethnicity. Members of the Tajic, Hazara, Uzbec and other ethnic groups are opposing the use of the world "Afghan" on the ID card. They contend that "Afghan" denotes "Pashtun". The Pashtun ethnic group says that it refers to all the people of Afghanistan. Read an excellent examination of the issue in "The E=Tazkera Rift: Yet another political crisis looming?", Afghanistan Analyst Network (AAN),  February 22, 2018.

ACJC Criticized. The Anti-Corruption Criminal Justice Center is coming under fire. While it has arrived at a number of court decisions - the implementation of those decisions are ignored. In addition, it has failed to tackle major cases of corruption. "ACJC Critized As It Struggles to Fight Corruption", Tolo News, February 21, 2018.

2018 Elections in Peril? There are doubts about whether Afghanistan will be able to conduct its parliamentary elections in the summer of 2018. The Japanese are giving $13 million USD in aid to help in the conduct of the elections. While the Afghan government says it will run the elections for parliament and district councils there are many observers that say it won't happen. Read "UNAMA Chief Says Elections Must Be Held As Scheduled", Tolo News, February 21, 2018.

President Ghani Profiled. Ihsanullah Omarkhail (a writer on foreign policy, peace, state building, terrorism, etc.) provides a glowing assessment of President Ashraf Ghani in "Afghanistan: President Ghani's Concept of National Issues", Eurasia Review, February 18, 2018.

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