Inside the United Nations’ Kabul offices, senior officials have coined a phrase for how they are approaching Afghanistan’s September 18 parliamentary elections and the ongoing vote count: “constructive ambiguity.” The term, critics of the UN’s stance say, indicates that the organization is giving up on the Afghan democratization process.
By all appearances, the September 18 parliamentary elections, just like last year’s presidential vote, were tainted by ballot-stuffing and other dirty tricks. Since polls closed two weeks ago, the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) has received over 3,000 complaints. Roughly half of them, according to election officials, could potentially impact the outcome of MP races. Preliminary results are expected on October 8 and final results by the end of the month.
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Aunohita Mojumdar is an Indian freelance journalist based in Kabul. She has reported on the South Asian region for the past 19 years.