Thursday, November 06, 2003

THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS: The race for the Presidency of Afghanistan has started. No, really. Apparently, the constitutional commision had prepared a fundamentally different consitution than the one that was presented on Monday. The Northern Alliance had presented a system with a President, Prime Minister and a parliament, in which parliament would have significantly more power. Apparently, Karzai and his cabinet nixed the idea and instead adopted a strong Presidency; one with a vice-President and less parlimanentary power. One Jamiat-e-Islami official described it as a "second dictatorship."

Here's an editorial from the Afghan newspaper Ayine-e Zan titled "Civilian or Military? It is your choice" from a week or so ago.

After the transitional government of Afghanistan identified the newly formed coalition of armed mojahedin in the north, it approved and promulgated the new law on political parties. It is beyond doubt that the said law is a baby born before his mother if we take an analytical look at it. It is due to the fact that our constitution is still undergoing a review process and the law on political parties needs to complete its implementation stage. Secondly, a number of political circles convinced the transitional government and its international friends that the 2004 elections should be held in a secure and transparent environment to achieve overall satisfaction. Afghanistan is a country that has constantly throughout its history experienced a bitter situation after suffering from an internal problem, therefore, the leaders of Afghanistan are required to promulgate the best laws. The new law on political parties can be considered a complete plan aimed at ending political, factional and military crisis. However, concerns about the implementation of such good laws remain. Will the political and military leaders who constitute 85 per cent of Mr Karzai's cabinet automatically adopt happy civilian faces by tearing up their membership cards? Or will it lead to another situation where not two but several water melons have to be held in one hand?

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