The first round of the presidential election is taking place in Afghanistan despite the threats of Taliban. According to CNN, the vote took place after US President Donald Trump canceled the scheduled talks with the Taliban on a peace agreement. This situation is beneficial to the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who can win by a simple majority vote, the channel notes.
Across Afghanistan, those who went to the polls challenge the threats of Taliban* and vote for the future President of the country. The Taliban warned the civilian population not to get close to polling stations, and this is not an empty threat: dozens of people were killed in preparation for the elections. Nick Peyton Walsh, CNN reporter, explains why people vote anyway.
Few were sure of the fact that these elections will be held, and their success can be measured by the number of those who died, and not the turnout of the voters. Earlier this month, high hopes for a peace agreement were shattered by Donald Trump, who canceled talks with the Taliban on Twitter. This led to the fact that Afghanistan rushed directly to the presidential election. Many believed that the election could be postponed if progress were made in the peace talks. Instead, elections will be expedited. This campaign was hindered by security concerns and was held in the midst of unprecedented violence.
However, in such a situation only one person can win, that is President Ashraf Ghani. He was constrained by direct negotiations between the US and the Taliban. He always insisted on the election and can now receive full support, which rarely happens in modern politics in Afghanistan.
This remains America’s longest war without immediate termination in the long run. However, the suffering of the Afghans was especially severe, whose daily losses, along with increased violence, are often not noticed by outside observers.
The Taliban opposed the election and said Thursday that it would block all roads on election day, adding that “this is the nth time when they conduct a falsified process to mislead people.” Therefore, voters have to fear the use of violence, which has already closed about a quarter of polling stations, or that they will cut off their finger marked with ink during voting, as some representatives of the Taliban did in the last election. The failed peace negotiations here served as a catalyst for violence.
Mohammed Khaidar, student:
“More violence is going on in the elections because the Taliban want to attack and pressure the government so that they can convince America and the Afghan government to return”.
This political situation, he said, shows that Afghans cannot decide on their own. It turns out that because of a single Twitter post, all fates have changed. If Ghani gets more than 50%, he can avoid the second round of elections in November. But even such a pure victory will not help get rid of the cruelty that stands here in human lives.
*”Taliban” is the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003