Afghanistan presidential election marred by violence, infighting

(VOVWORLD) - The Afghanistan presidential election ended last weekend with disappointing results. Only 2.2 million people - 20% of eligible voters cast ballots, much lower than the forecast of 60%.
Afghanistan presidential election marred by violence, infighting - ảnh 1Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (right) with the country's Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah as they arrive for the NATO summit in Warsaw in July 2016. 

The Afghanistan election was held on September 28 amidst growing violence and failure of the US to sign a peace treaty with the Taliban.

Unexpected results

More than 9.6 million Afghan voters registered to cast their ballot in Sunday’s election but only 2.2 million voted compared to 7 million in the previous election 5 years ago. Threats by the Taliban, and complaints about the use of a biometric identification system discouraged Afghan voters from voting.

The election was overshadowed by a growing number of violent attacks. From August 6th to September 22nd, more than 240 civilians and 40 security personnel were killed by terrorists. Analysts warned that the situation was not favorable for an election. Former President Hamid Karzai said holding the vote now was like asking a heart patient to run a marathon. It was likely to provoke Taliban attacks that would seriously destabilize the country.

Preliminary election results are not expected before October 19 and final results not until November 7. If no candidate gets over half of the votes, a run-off will be held between the two leading candidates.

Challenges remain

The election, the fourth since the Taliban collapsed in 2001, pits current President Ashraf Ghani against the chief executive of the government (equivalent to Prime Minister) Abdullah Abdullah. 5 years ago, Mr. Ghani won an unpersuasive victory over Abdullah in an election marred by fraud. The result created a fierce political fight in which US Secretary of State John Kerry has to intervene and persuade the two leaders to share power.

Abdullah has accused Ghani of abusing power, buying votes, and manipulating the election results, Ghani denies the accusations.

Neither President Ghani nor Abdulla has a detailed plan to create peace, boost economic growth or end the conflict with the Taliban, which controls 11% of the Afghan population.