Afghan Election 2014



Afghan War
News Blog

Current News

Military Websites

Government Websites

General Information

Blogs on Afghan War

Blogs by Military


Books on Afghanistan

Afghan Glossary

Site Map


on Afghan Elections by
Radio Free Europe

Blog Posts
on Afghan Elections by
Afghan War News



Afghan War News > Events > Election 2014

The presidential and provincial council elections for Afghanistan took place on April 5, 2014. Karzai, per the Afghan constitution, was not permitted to run for a third term - which is a huge relief to many Afghan citizens, the international community, and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) who view his presidency as inept, incompetent and hugely corrupt.

Afghan Election Roster

Topics on This Page

Activities Preceding Election
Afghan Election Results
Assessment of April 2014 Elections
Assessment of June 2014 Runoff
Presidential Candidates
Afghan Political Parties
Resources on Afghan Elections
Publications on Afghan Elections
Videos about Afghan Elections
News Reports on the Afghan Elections

"The ability of the HN government and its local subdivisions to stage fair and secure elections is a significant milestone toward establishing legitimate, effective governance. While civilian agencies that maintain strict transparency guide the elections process, military forces provide the support that enables broad participation by the local populace".
FM 3-24.2 6.


Return to Top of Page

Events and Activities Preceding the April 2014 Election

The Date is Set! The Afghanistan Independent Election Commission has announced that the presidential vote will take place on April 5, 2014. The vote will also include the provincial council elections. The vote will be the first democratic transfer of power since the American intervention that toppled the Taliban after the 9/11 attacks by al Qaeda (harbored by the Taliban).

Vote Held Too Early in the Year? Many observers have commented that the more remote areas will have trouble voting as the high mountain passes will still be covered with snow and will prevent some from going to the polling stations.

Corrupt Elections? Many fear that the elections will once again be rigged - as they were for the last election which kept Karzai in office. There was widespread fraud and ballot stuffing. 1. Karzai can't run for President again; but he will, however, do everything possible to put one of his cronies (his brother?) into office as President to keep the money from his corrupt regime flowing to his family bank accounts overseas.

Karzai Elections. Karzai was appointed the head of an interim administration in 2001 with the backing of European powers at the Bonn Conference. He also won in the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections - both marred with fraud and cheating that provided Karzai with an illegal victory.

2009 Elections. The turnout was low during the 2009 elections due to insurgent pressure and intimidation on the population to not vote. The 2009 elections were also marred by numerous allegations of voter fraud. Most international observers have concluded that Karzai stole the 2009 election. A candidate in the current elections (2014), Abdullah Abdullah, was also a lead candidate in the 2009 Afghan elections and garnered enough support to force a runoff with Karzai. However, the elections were discredited by the United Nations and other observers of the international community and Abdullah Abdullah withdrew.

Voting Cards. In order to vote Afghans must register for the vote and be issued a voting card. The downfall of a voting card is if you are caught with one by the Taliban you are subject to reprisals. Hamid Karzai is advocating that the voter registration cards issued for the 2009/2010 election be considered valid. Unfortunately, many of those IDs are fraudulent and contributed greatly to the voter fraud that helped get Karzai elected. A prudent course would be to issue new voter registration cards and this is advocated by many observing the preparations for the upcoming Afghan elections. 2. Voter registration started on May 26, 2013. The registration process will take place in all 34 provinces for anyone 18 years or older who has not previously registered (2009) or who have lost their voter cards. The current voter rolls have 16 million people registered and it is expected that another 4 million will be added. Many of the voter registration IDs are fraudulent and controlled in some fashion by President Karzai's political machine. Many voter registration cards are being sold (some for the cost of a meal) by voters and middlemen then deliver the to campaign managers who will use them to stuff ballot boxes. 8.  In fact, it is reported 17. that voter fraud is quite simple to commit - verification of name and address is almost non-existent.

Afghan woman with voter card April 2014 election
(Photo from IJC Facebook)

Lack of Security Will Affect Voter Registration. The voter registration teams will " . . only go to areas where security . . . " is sufficient for them to work. 4. Security should be relatively safe for the voter registration process as the vote card centers are in secured urban areas.

Ineffective Government. Many Afghans feel it is futile to vote. They state that the elections are rigged and the central government is corrupt and ineffective. The Kabul regime has failed to provide for security, governance is non-existent in my districts, and development projects fail to reach many of the contested rural areas.  Those funded projects that do reach the population are subjected to corruption, favoritism, and inefficiency. This causes many Afghans to feel alienated from the Afghan government and discouraged about voting.

Independent Election Commission (IEC). The head of the Independent Election Commission is Fazel Ahmad Manawi. In July 2013, Karzai selected nine new members 5. of the IEC; many of whom are closely affiliated with Karzai. Members of the election commission have been targeted by the Taliban and other insurgents. 16. You can view the website of the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan at the link below.

Afghan ECC

Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC). The ECC is Afghanistan's election watchdog. It is not currently effective (as of early February 2014 13.) because of lack of funding and staffing problems. This could undermine the 2014 election with accusations of fraud that discredited the 2009 presidential elections. The ECC has received only a fraction of the funding needed because the international community is waiting for the Afghan government to appoint provincial election officials. The ECC offices in the provinces have yet to be opened due to the slow moving (intentional by Karzai of course) bureaucracy.

Concern about Possible Delay of Elections. Many feel that Afghanistan has a real chance at a democracy and of defeating the insurgents if an effective president is elected. So they look forward to the end of the Karzai regime and a new beginning for Afghanistan. However, . . . for a long period of time there was concern that that Karzai would delay the elections with a presidential edict and stay in power; at least through 2014 when ISAFs influence diminishes drastically. Many Afghans felt the elections would never take place. Karzai always seemed way ahead of the U.S. State Department and ISAF in thinking about and planning for what happened in April 2014.

Monitoring of Elections by International Community. Due to some spectacular attacks against foreigners in Kabul (guesthouses, hotels, and restaurants) and across the country many who were here to monitor or report on the election chose to depart Afghanistan. The amount of international monitors present for the 2014 election was significantly less than those present for the 2004 and 2009 elections. This puts the election results in question to a certain degree and jeopardizes the validity of the elections.

Taliban Disruption of the Elections. The Taliban aim to disrupt and thereby discredit the elections. The less people that vote (due to security concerns, lack of interest, etc.) then the less legitimate the elections will be and this will have an impact on the legitimacy of the next president of Afghanistan. The Taliban were not defeated this past fighting season (2013). They may have suffered a bloody nose due to the highly successful SOF operations conducted but the ANSF also took terrible casualties. Currently the Taliban are reorganizing, preparing, and training for operations that will disrupt the election. 14. The Taleban have targeted police, election officials, local candidates and foreigners in the days preceding the April 5th election.

Warlords on the Ballot. There are some unscrupulous individuals picked as either first or second vice president candidates. These include Dostum, Ismail Khan, and others. These warlords played a key role in the Afghan civil war during the 1990s. The warlords have regional powerbases with solid patronage systems in place. In addition, they will undoubtedly controlled much of the vote through fraud and ballot box stuffing. Rumor has it that Rashid Dostum had already sealed the a great proportion of the Uzbek vote through ballot fraud.

Afghan Lack Confidence in Honesty of the Elections. According to a recent Gallup poll 21. only one in five Afghans have confidence in the honesty of the elections. The confidence level is even lower than that reflected in the 2009 presidential elections (considered illegal by many observers because of extensive fraud by Hamid Karzai and the low voter turnout). According to the poll the majority of Afghans lack faith in the elections.

Is Literacy a Problem for Voters? The vast majority of Afghans do not read or write. So how do they vote? Each candidate is represented on the ballot by a symbol such as a dove, bulldozer, etc. Seen below is a picture of the 2009 presidential ballot.

Afghan Election Ballot 2009
Image from NATO TV

So . . . How Do We Get Fair Elections? There are many critics of past Afghan elections (especially the 2009 debacle) however few come up with positive suggestions. Sarah Chayes recently testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and presented several recommendations. 3. These include the U.S. reaching a consensus about what our objectives are in Afghanistan. If we want fair elections (she says) then US officials must stop supporting the very people who would subvert the process (warlords, Karzai and others).

Election Monitors. Due to the uptick in high-profile attacks against foreigners in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan in the weeks preceding the election many reporters and election observers left the country or chose to remain sequestered in their protected compounds. The monitoring of the elections fell mostly on 265,000 registered Afghan monitors and the campaign workers of the various candidates and political parties. 19.

Number of Voters? Reporting indicates that there are approximately 12 to 13 million voters; although projections on how many will actually vote are varied. Compounding the problem of voter registration is that there is a lack of a proper census mechanism, voter rolls, and no method of matching voters against a database. Of note is that there have been over 21 million voter registration cards handed out over the past ten years. Hmmmm. If you can do the math you probably will arrive at the answer of "FRAUD".

Security of Polling Stations. The Independent Election Commission (IEC) has released a list of the polling centres that it considered secure enough to open for voting on 5 April 2014. The total number of polling centres has fluctuated as the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the IEC added and subtracted sites based on population estimates and security assessments. In February 2014 there were 7,168 planned but, of these, only around 6,400 opened on election day. The polling stations opened at 7 am and closed at 4 pm on 5 April 2014. The Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) provides a detailed examination of the polling centres for the April 2014 election. 18. The Afghan Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has an interactive map that provides a description of each of the polling centers at this link: Many of the polling stations were located in schools and medical centers. 20.

What to Watch in the Elections. The Afghanistan Analyst Network (AAN), an independent non-profit research organization, has provided some valuable tips for observers of the Afghan election of 2014. These include voter registration, polling station lists, polling day fraud and irregularities, and voting counts and complaints. The information was posted on their website on April 1, 2014.

Was Afghanistan Ready to Vote? Probably! There were two main concerns for the election. One was a proper level of security and the other was to keep fraud to a minimum. Security was deemed good enough by the ANSF, ISAF, and most of the international community; but election fraud? It appears that the elections had a significant amount of fraud - just as they were in 2009. The independence of the IEC is held in question; as it was appointed by Hamid Karzai. The international community has a hands-off approach. Military and civilian observers will be small in number and are likely to be duped once again as they were in the 2009 election or they just won't have visibility on how the elections are run. 10.


Return to Top of Page

Afghan Presidential Eection Results (April 5, 2014)

Voter Turnout. Initial reports indicate that seven million out of 12 million eligible voters (about 58%) voted. These preliminary estimates (on 5 Apr) were provided by the election commission. 24. The voters were an increase of 4.5 million in the past 2009 presidential election.

Election Results Announced 20 April. The results of the election will be announced on or about 20 April following a protracted vote count. That announcement will be followed by weeks of challenges and a review period to examine allegations of fraud. The actual official results may not be known until mid-May. Afghanistan lacks the refined exit polling process that provides almost instant news on election outcomes . . . so we have to wait. It is clear that Abdullah and Ghani are the two front runners and will likely be the two contenders in the round two elections.

Results of Election by Province. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has posted the results of the 2014 elections on their website. You can access the results at the link below.

Abdullah and Ghani in Run-off. Abdullah received about 45% of the vote while Ghani received about 31% of the vote.

Election Run-off on June 14. If the first place winner of the presidential election does not get 50% of the vote then there is a run-off election. The run-off is scheduled on June 14th between Ghani and Abdullah.



Return to Top of Page

Assessment of April 5, 2014 Elections

Security. The elections were reasonably secure given that they were held during a period of insecurity amidst an insurgency that has been in existence for over ten years. Of the 7,000 plus planned polling stations ISAF has determined the 6,200 were functioning. 23. There were numerous polling stations that did not open due to security concerns and others that opened but saw little participation due to Taleban intimidation. Holding the election in early April (vice August 2009) probably contributed to a greater sense of security - as this is the beginning of the fighting season. The Operational  Coordinating Centers (OCCs) located at regional and provincial level played a big part in coordinating election security.

OCC-R FOB Gamberi on Election Day (Laghman Province)
OCC-R at FOB Gamberi, Laghman province on April 5, 2014
(Photo by CPL George Hurley, U.S. Army)

Fraud. Hopefully the instances of election fraud are significantly less than the 2009 election that Hamid Karzai rigged. Time will tell in the next few months how much election fraud took place and the effect on the election results.

Taliban Intimidation. While most observers (ISAF is simply glowing with pride) believe the ANSF had a successful day in providing security for the election the real truth is that the insurgents still hold sway in much of the countryside of eastern and southern Afghanistan. For example, a short helicopter flight from Kabul (15 minutes) in Nerkh district, Wardak province very little voters turned out. 25. The simple fact is that while the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National army can secure the district center (and perhaps from the district center out to the maximum effective range of their rifles) the insurgents have freedom of movement in 95% of the district countryside and can intimidate the population. So perhaps everyone should take a deep breath about how well the ANSF did in securing the elections.

Voting Along Ethnic Lines. Historically, Afghans have voted along ethnic lines. Early projections indicate that this is the case for the 2014 presidential elections. 26. Pashtuns will vote for Pashtun candidates, Tajiks for Tajik candidates, and so on. The leading (and only) presidential candidate for the Tajiks was Abdullah Abdullah. Hazaras will mostly vote for Abdullah Abdullah because he has a Hazara vice president on his ticket. Ashrah Ghani has Rashid Dostum, a prominent Uzbek, on his ticket.


Return to Top of Page

Afghan Runoff Election Results (June 14, 2014)

Voter Turnout. The voter turnout for the election runoff was anticpated to be less than that of the initial election. However early indications point to a 60% turn out; which is close to the electoral turn out of the first round of voting. Observers have noted that much of the voting was concluded by late morning and the lines were not significantly long - casting doubt on the governments claims that over 7 million voters took part in the election.

Runoff Election Results to be Announced July 2nd. The initial results of the election will be announced on/about July 2nd. The final results will be announced on/about July 22nd.

Results of Election by Province. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will likely post the results of the 2014 election runoff on their website.

Election Security. The security provided by the ANSF seemed adequate for the election. There were a number of Taliban attacks across the country but not enough to disrupt or discredit the election.

Accusations of Fraud. Abdullah called for a halt in the vote counting process of the second round of elections citing instances of fraud - up to at least one million fraudelant votes. 27.  The head of the IEC resigned under pressure after an audio recording was released to the press that indicated he was influencing the electoral process.

In June 2014 a series of demonstrations by Abdullah supporters were staged across the country in protest of the rigging of the vote. The Abdullah campaign issued a letter to the IEC outlining 13 demands to mitigate the election fraud. Abdullah has demanded that the vote counting process be halted until the fraud accusations are investigated and resolved.

Votes finally Tabulated. Under the observation of the United Nations and other international observers the final tally of the votes was completed on September 5, 2014. However, Abdullah has indicated that he will not accept the results of the vote count. A lot of this coulld be politcally maneuvering on his part to get a greater share of the power in a "unity government" formed between he and Ghani.

National Unity Government (NUG). The presidential runoff election was inconclusive. Although most obeservers believe that Ghani received the most votes the election was marred by rampant fraud. As a result a stalemate ensued between Ghani and Abdullah. Eventuarly they reached an agreement and formed a National Unity Government (NUG).


Return to Top of Page

The Afghan Presidential Candidates

At the end of the presidential registration period there were about 27 candidates for office. In late October, the IEC dropped eight potential runners from the contender's list; reducing the number of candidates to 19. 9.  An additional number were dropped from the list or withdrew bringing the number to eleven (view a list of the eleven candidates provided by the IEC). Weeks before the election another three candidates withdrew. At the time of the election there were eight candidates running for president.

The Two Leading Candidates

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. This candidate has been nominated by the national coalition. He is a former foreign minister (2001-2005) and was a close associate of Ahmad Shah Masood of the National Alliance and fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. At age 53, he is very well educated and is trained as an ophthalmologist. Part of his appeal is he is descended from both Tajik and Pashtun lineage. He was the main contester in the 2009 presidential elections but lost to Hamid Karzai due to rampant election fraud. He has chosen to team up with Muhammad Khan from the political arm of the Gulbiddin Hikmatyar's Hizb-i-Islami and also Mohammad Mohaqiq  - a leading Hazara personality and former warlord. Abdullah has indicated that if elected president of Afghanistan he would sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States. 12.

Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai. Ghani is an economist, a former finance minister, a former World Bank executive (10 years), and is known as an anti-corruption technocrat. He is an intellectual with a clean image. he holds a doctorate degree from Columbia University where he studied international relations and anthropology. He has taught at several universities in the United States to include Johns Hopkins University (10 years). Ghani is also a former dean of Kabul University and was at one time the head of the transition coordination commission. However, he has raised questions with his choice of a warlord - General Abdul Rashid Dostum. Dostum is clearly a contentious figure although he will command much of the Uzbek vote. Dostum is an opportunist warlord who switches sides quite frequently - having supported the pro-Soviet regime, the jihadist, and other factions in the shifting political landscape of Afghanistan. He also ran in the 2009 election. At age 64, he is considered to be a technocrat.

Other Presidential Candidates

Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf. Some observers say that there are four leading candidates with Sayyaf running as a distant fourth choice. He is an ethnic Pashtun and former warlord from Paghman. He is a well-known Salafist, he is an influential religious scholar, and continues to have connections to jihadists. He has some human rights issues that he needs to manage from his past (the Hazaras are not fond of him). Rumor has it he may be one of the candidates favored by Hamid Karzai. He is a controversial candidate as he invited Osama Bin Laden into Afghanistan in 1996 and has been named as a mentor to the mastermind of 9/11 - Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. At one time he studied in Cairo and was influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. During the Soviet occupation he commanded a militia group that fought the Russians. He has spent time as an MP (from Kabul) in the Afghan parliament. He is the leader of the Dawat Party - the former mujahedin faction Ittihad-e Islami. A former MP of Kabul. One of his running mates is Ismail Khan - the warlord from the Herat region. Although he has a storied past he has reinvented himself as a religious scholar, statesman, and influential lawmaker. In several speeches in recent months (Jan 2014) he has presented a moderate voice showing support for the Bilateral Security Agreement and expressed the need for continued assistance from the west. He is considered to be running fourth in the pre-election polls and a candidate that makes the U.S. most anxious. The Philippine terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, is named after him.

Dr. Zalmai Rassoul. He is a former foreign minister, national security advisor, and minister of civil aviation. He is 70 years old and a descendant of Afghanistan's royal family. He is a nephrologist by training (a medical professional specializing in kidneys). Rassoul is widely viewed as the preferred candidate of President Hamid Karzai. He has picked a female to be on his ticket as a vice-presidential nominee; Habiba Sarobi is a reformist governor of Bamiyan province. There are worries that Rassoul will be a puppet of Hamid Karzai should he become president. He is unmarried, has no children, study in France and has a medical degree. NOTE: Rassoul came in a distant third in the April 5th election. NOTE: Rassoul declared his support for Abdullah in Mid May which will certainly hlep Abdullah in the run-off election..

Qutbuddin Helal. He was the former spokesperson of Hezb-e Islami Hekmatyar in the 1990s and is considered an Islamist leader. A member of the Hezb-e Islami peace delegation. He has ties to the insurgent leader of the Hezb-e-Islami -Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. He is also considered close to Hamid Karzai. He is running as an independent and has never held a post-2001 government post.

Gul Agha Sherzai. He is a Barakzai Pashtun from Kandahar. He has served as a governor of Nangahar and Kandahar provinces. His powerbase was in southern Afghanistan at one time. He fought as a mujahidin commander against the government of President Mohammad Najibullah. He is one of the most corrupt Afghan politicians ever; well . . . except for Hamid Karzai. Only he could make a worse president than Hamid Karzai.

Hedayat Amin Arasala. He was born in 1942, grew up in Kabul and is experienced in international affairs. A former senior minister of the Afghan government. He joined the World Bank in 1969 where he worked for 18 years. He earned a bachelor's and masters degree from Southern Illinois University. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan he served as a senior advisor and member of the Supreme Council of Afghan Unity of Mujahedeen. In 1993 he became foreign minister in the post-communist era. He played a key role at the Bonn Conference in 2001.

Daud Sultanzoi. He is a former lawmaker, a member of parliament from Ghazni province. He is a Pashtun and spent more than 20 years working as a pilot for United Airlines and Aryana Airlines. He selected Wahidullah Shahrani as his first vice president and Ibrahim Qasmi as his second vice president. Born in 1952, he is 62 years old. He attended Habibia High School in Kabul and received a degree in engineering from Kabul University. He later attended advanced studies in the U.S. for aviation and became a pilot. During the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan he lived in Saudi Arabia.

Candidates Who Withdrew Within Weeks of Election

Qayum Karzai. The older brother of Hamid Karzai, he will represent one of Afghanistan's most powerful Pashtun families if elected. He would also ensure that Hamid Karzai would not face any corruption charges due to his extremely corrupt regime stealing billions of dollars meant for development and the growth of the ANSF. A businessman, Qayum Karzai is associated with the failed Kabul Bank and would surely continue the movement of foreign aid money from Kabul to Dubai into the Karzai coffers. Qayum would represent the Movement for the Support of the People. He has chosen the former Minister for Mines Wahidullah Shahrni who is an ethnic Uzbek as his first Vice presidential nominee. A third brother, Mahmoud Karzai, received extensive loans that were never asked to be paid back - Mahmoud was never charged. Mahmoud has come in support of Abdullah (late May endorsement). NOTE: Qayum Karzai dropped out of the race in early March.

General Abdul Rahim Wardak. Wardak is a former mujahideen commander, senior level officer in the Afghan National Army. He most recently served as the Defence Minister for several years and security advisor to the president. NOTE: Wardak dropped out of the race in mid-March 2014. 15.

Sardar Mohammad Nader Naeem. A grandson of King Zaher Shah. He has dropped out of the race and reportedly has come out in favor of Hamid Karzai's stooge - Zalmai Rassoul.

Disqualified Candidates

Many of the candidates who registered for the presidential election were disqualified by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). 17 presidential candidates were disqualified on October 22, 2013. Some of the requirements to be a candidate include 40 years of age, no criminal record, no dual citizenship, 100,000 signatures of support from 20 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, and a deposit of 1 million afghanis (or $18,000). View the list of disqualified candidates for the 2014 Afghan election.

Other Sources Providing Info on Presidential Candidates

National Public Radio (NPR) provides descriptions of the remaining eight candidates running in the presidential election in "Afghanistan's Next President Will Be . . .", April 2, 2014. . . . afghanistans-next-president-will-be

Description of Afghan Presidential Candidates by Radio Free Europe . . . candidate-biographies/25146037.html

You can view a complete list of presidential candidates who were running as of October 2013 at

"A Look at the candidates for Afghan president", The Washington Post, April 1, 2014. . . . afghan-president/906/


Return to Top of Page

The Afghan Political Parties

Afghanistan Electoral Alliance. A coalition consisting of a dozen opposition political groups states that they will select a single candidate to run in the election. With the strong personalities dominant in this diverse group of Tajiks, Uzbeks, Harzara and others it is unlikely to band behind one single candidate. Key leaders in the alliance include Abdullah Abdullah (former presidential runner-up in 2009), General Dostum, Atta Mohammad Noor, and Mohammad Mohaqeq. The alliance is calling for a more decentralized government with more authority given to the provinces. This party has also been called the National Coalition of Afghanistan.

National Understanding Forum. The forum is an alliance of about ten political parties that are mostly from the Pashtun community. The forum is currently (Sep 2013) led by Pir Sayed Ishaq Gailani; a parliamentarian from eastern Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Eastern People's Alliance. A group of tribal leaders and politicians from the eastern regions of Afghanistan.

Movement for Change in Afghanistan. This is the political party launched by the female candidate - Fawzia Koofi. 7.


Return to Top of Page

Organizations and Resources on Afghan Election

Afghanistan Election Data. National Democratic Institute.

National Democratic Institute - Afghanistan

2014 Presidential and Provincial Council Elections - UNAMA

Transparent Election Foundation of Afghanistan (TEFA)

Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA)

Afghanistan Election 2014 by Wikipedia,_2014

Afghan Elections 2014 - Observation and Analysis


Return to Top of Page

Papers and Publications on Afghan Elections
(Listed in chronological order)

Johnson, Thomas H., The Myth of Afghan Electoral Democracy: the irregularities of the 2014 presidential election, Naval Postgraduate School, 2018.

Halloran, Lauren Kay, "American Export: Elections", The Atlantic, November 7, 2016.

FEFA, Election Observation Report,  March 31, 2015. Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan.

EUEAT, Final Report: Afghan Presidential Elections, European Union Election Assessment Team, December 2014.

Coburn, Noah. Lessons from 2009 and 2010, Afghan Elections Blog, Aug 13, 2014.

Agin, Joanna. Afghanistan's Fraught Political Transition and Implications for Its Security Beyond 2014, Institute for the Study of War (ISW), 20 July 2014.

Katzman, Kenneth. Afghanistan: Politics, Electons, and Government Performance, Congressional Research Service, June 23, 2014.

IFES. Elections in Afghanistan: April 5 Presidential and Provincial Council Elections, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, March 28, 2014. FAQ on the Afghan election.

Haress, Ghizaal. Adjudicating Election Complaints: Afghanistan and the Perils of Unconstitutionalism, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), March 2014. Case study of 2010 Afghan Special Election.

Barakzai, Zekria. 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council Elections in Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace, October 30, 2013. The author is a senior policy advisor to Afghanistan's anticorruption office. He paints a more positive picture of the electoral process and situation than others; but based on his background he should be very knowledgeable on the Afghan election.

Tchalakov, Mara. The Northern Alliance Prepares for Afghan Elections in 2014. Institute for the Study of War, August 2013. Jamiat-e Islami, or Society of Islam, remains one of Afghanistan’s oldest and most influential Tajik-dominated political parties, originally forged as a tanzim or political-military organization. Afghan history suggests that any stable political accommodation after 2014 will be contingent upon incorporating the interests of Jamiat-e Islami. The engagement of key Jamiat-e Islami politicians will be critical to a smooth regime transition in Afghanistan as the country veers toward a post-Karzai era.

Bijlert, Martine van. How to Win an Afghan Election: Perceptions and Practices, Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN), 2009. . . . Win-Afghan-Election.pdf

Registan. The Challenges of Electoral Security in Afghanistan,, April 3, 2014. The writer examines security challenges for the April 5, 2014 election.


Return to Top of Page

Videos about the Afghan 2014 Elections

April 3, 2014. "Politics in Panjshir: Life on the Afghan campaign trail", Stars and Stripes. (7 minute long video). . . . the-afghan-campaign-trail-1.275943

April 2, 2014. "Flash Analysis: Afghanistan's Presidential Election". Akbar Ayazi, Radio Free Europe's regional director for Afghanistan and Pakistan provides his insight on the election. Discusses the leading candidates and provides info on security for the elections. Fraud is considered the major concern; not security. (3.5 minutes).

March 5, 2014. "Dialing into the Afghan Elections". NATO TV. A video about the Independent Election Commission's public awareness campaign.


Return to Top of Page

News Articles about the 2014 Election

December 17, 2014. "EU Observers Say Afghan Democracy Suffers Blow From Election Fraud". Radio Free Europe.

December 16, 2014. "E.U. Confirms Wide Fraud in Afghan Presidential Runoff Election". The New York Times.

September 22, 2014. "Ghani is new president of Afghanitan, officlal says". CNN World News. IEC declares Ghani winner.

September 18, 2014. "Afghanistan's stability depends on two presidential contenders reaching a deal". The Washington Post.

September 17, 2014. "Afghan security forces prepare for election annoucement". Stars and Stripes.

September 16, 2014. "Afghan election commission acknowledges 'massive' vote fraud". Business Standard.

September 13, 2014. "WA deputy major recunts tense time as Afghanistan election monitor", ABC News. Article describes the highly-charged environoment and life as an election monitor.

September 10, 2014. "Afghan talks could continue after inauguration". AP Newswire.

August 12, 2014. "Afghanistan after 2014 Elections: US as a Strategic Partner?", Eurasia Review, by Halimullah Kousary.

August 12, 2014. "Why the Afghan election still isn't over". The Washington Post.

August 10, 2014. "Despite agreement, Afghan vote review still slow as deadline looms". Stars and Stripes. The tedious process of validating votes is described.

July 31, 2014. "Afghan Vote Audit Resumes Saturday, But Troubles Remain". VOA.

July 28, 2014. "Afghan vote audit stalls amid daily arguments". Stars and Stripes.

July 27, 2014. "US and NATO step up to overcome Afghan electoral dispute". Stars and Stripes.

July 23, 2014. "In Kabul, vote recount delayed in dispute over what constitutes a fraudulent ballot." The Washington Post.

July 22, 2014. "Afghan election crisis and SCO". EurasiaReview.

July 20, 2014. "Afghan elections: Audit of disputed run-off halted". BBC. The slow pace of the electoral process has affected the nations' economy.

June 29, 2014. "Amid Claims of Fraud, Afghan Presidential Candidate Vows More Deadlock". The New York Times.

June 18, 2014. "Afghanistan's 2014 Run-Off Election: An Observer's Account". The Diplomat. An independent observer of the 2014 Afghan general elections offers his impressions of Afghanistan's 2014 run-off vote.

June 16, 2014. "Abdullah says fraud gave his rival a million vote lead in Afghan vote." Reuters.

June 15, 2014. "Election day violence in Afghanistan higher than initially reported". Stars and Stripes. 506 security incidents killing 33 civilians and wounding 63. Eleven voters had their fingers cut off in Herat.

June 15, 2014. "Afghan election: Taliban chopped my finger off". BBC News Asia.

June 15, 2014. "UN in Afghanistan decries mutilation of voters in western province". UN News Centre.

June 14 2014. "NATO Secretary General congratulates Afghan people on elections". NATO.

June 14, 2014. "In Afghanistan's rural Wardak, fear of Taliban keeps voters away". Chicago Tribune. Some voters had their dyed fingers cut off, some polling centers did not open, charges of fraud were made, and many polling centers saw very few voters because of the Taliban intimidation.

June 14, 2014. "ISAF congratulates the Afghan people and ANSF on historic election". DVIDS. Over 6,200 polling centers were secured across the country.

June 14, 2014. "Afghanistan Election: 46 people killed in violence as 60% brave polls". International Buisness Times.

June 14, 2014. "Senior UN officials congratulate Afghans on presidential run-off". UN News Centre.

June 14, 2014. "Afghan Election: Ballot Shortages Show Lessons Not Learned". RFE.

June 13, 2014. "Recap: Afghanistan Votes 2014". The Wall Street Journal.

June 13, 2014. "Afghanistan prepares for presidential election runoff amid fears of violence". The Guardian.

June 11, 2014. "Who could become Afghanistan's next president". The Washington Post. A profile of the two runoff election candidates - Ghani and Abdullah.

May 22, 2014. "Observers predict fierce campaigns as runoff ballet gets started". Stars and Stripes.

May 22, 2014. "Success of Elections Shows Taliban Losing the Afghan People". American Forces Press Service.

May 21, 2014. "Afghan election body sacks thousands over fraud ahead of run-off". Reuters.

May 18, 2014. "Post-Election Afghanistan to Repeat History?" The Diplomat. Coalition building among Afghan powerbrokers, warlords, and presidential candidates a reality.

May 15, 2014. "Top Afghan presidential candidates head to runoff". Stars and Stripes.

May 13, 2014. "Lessons from Afghanistan: Warlord politicians aren't always bad for democracy". The Washington Post.

May 5, 2014. "What will a runoff do to turnout?" Afghan Elections 2014.

May 2, 2014. "Early Responses to Preliminary Results". Afghan Elections 14.

May 2, 2014. "Dempsey Calls Election 'Turning Point' for Afghan Forces". American Forces Press Service.

May 1, 2014. "New Fears Over Afghan Election Runoff". Eurasia Review.

April 30, 2014. "The Afghan Elections: An Afghan Awakening". By Robert Mihara, E-International Relations.

April 24, 2014. "Afghan presidential election set for Abdullah-Ghani run-off". Reuters.

April 23, 2014. "Dostum as VP?". Afghan Elections 14.

April 22, 2014. "Reports of Fraud and Violence in One Troubled District". The New York Times.

April 22, 2014. "Afghanistan's 2014 Election: An Observer's Account". The Diplomat.

April 22, 2014. "Afghan Election Runoff, Likely, Early Results Suggest". NBC News.

April 17, 2014. "Afghan Presidential Elections: implications and the road ahead - analysis".  Eurasia Review.

April 16, 2017. "Impartiality Critical to Ensuring Afghanistan's Election Credibility". Asia Foundation.

April 16, 2014. "Afghan election results sorted out behind closed doors". Stars and Stripes. There is a lot of secrecy in the vote counting and outside observers that wish to validate the legitimacy of the election have been barred from viewing the process. This, of course, is not helpful to the international communitie's acceptance of the election; However, we can predict that ISAF will continue to nurture the glow of successful elections (it is all part of their IO campaing!).

April 7, 2014. "Afghan Vote Counting Under Way in Presidential Poll". Radio Free Europe.

April 6, 2014. "In Taliban stronghold, a scared electorate". The Washington Post. The positive reports of election day security should be tempered with an acknowledgement that not all districts had a good turnout due to Taliban intimidation.

April 6, 2014. "The Aftermath: Accusations of Fraud and Undermining Votes". Afghan Elections 2014 Blog.

April 6, 2014. "Taliban fail to disrupt Afghan elections, but future still uncertain". Stars and Stripes. While the Taliban were successful in intimidation of voters in their traditional strongholds in some rural areas they did not affect the vote on a nationwide level.

April 6, 2014. "Leadership in Karzai's shadow: Afghanistan's next president to win vote, not total control", The Washington Times.

April 6, 2014. "Karzai, Western Leaders Praise Historic Afghan Presidential Election". Radio Free Europe.

April 5, 2014. "ISAF congratulates the ANSF on securing historic elections". DVIDS.

April 5, 2014. "NATO Secretary General congratulates Afghan people on elections". NATO Press Office.

April 5, 2014. "Inky Fingers and Wet Feet - Polling Day". Afghanistan Analyst Network (AAN).

April 5, 2014. "Remarkable turnout for Afghan vote despite Taliban threat". The Globe and Mail.

April 5, 2014. "Relief Follows Afghanistan's Mostly Peaceful Landmark Vote". Voice of America.

April 5, 2014. "Afghanistan election held despite threat of violence" UPI. Despite Taliban threat, very little violence during Afghanistan's first democratic election in modern history.

April 5, 2014. "Afghanistan Elections". Press Statement by United States Secretary of State John Kerry.

April 5, 2014. "A day of hope, as Afghans vote, but a long process ahead". Stars and Stripes.

April 5, 2014. "Relief in Afghanistan after largely peaceful landmark election". Reuters.

April 5, 2014. "With Modern Election, Voters Make a Break From Old Afghanistan". National Public Radio (NPR).

April 5, 2014. "The Election day in snapshots from the provinces".  Afghanistan Analyst Network (AAN).

April 5, 2014. "Afghans Defy Threats to Pick A President". National Public Radio.

April 5, 2014. "Chairman, ISAF Chief Salute Afghans for Security Elections". American Forces Press Service. General Dunford congratulates the ANSF for security over 6,200 polling stations.

April 5, 2014. "Elections 2014: Snapshots from the provinces before the vote". Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Reports from the field convey enthusiasm, insecurity, suspicions of fraud, or just resignation.

April 5, 2014. "Afghan hope prevails as presidential election day arrives". The Guardian.

April 5, 2014. "Afghanistan Blocks Election Day Texting". Radio Free Europe.

April 5, 2014. "Afghanistan votes in historic presidential election". BBC News Asia.

April 4, 2014. "Backroom Intrigue Persists in Afghan Presidential Election". N NPR.

April 4, 2014. "Two Associated Press journalists shot, one fatally, in Afghanistan". UPI.

April 4, 2014. "Elections 2014: Impressions from Kunduz at the eve of the elections". Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). Article looks at the police ability to secure insurgency riddled districts, poor performance of the IEC, and the role of militias.

April 4, 2014. "Securing Afghan polling sites: 849th MAC conducts joint operation to support tomorrow's presidential election". DVIDS. 849th helps ANSF clear roads.

April 4, 2014. "Between Afghans and Political Milestone, Threat of Violence Looms". NPR. The first ever democratic transfer of power will also see lots of fraud and violence.

April 4, 2014. "3rd SOK commandos prepare for elections". DVIDS. The commandos are ready to respond to any election day violence in Kandahar.

April 4, 2014. "As election looms, Afghanistan's history offers lessons - and hope". The Christian Science Monitor.

April 3, 2014. "The Campaigns for Kabul". The New York Times. Article highlights the issues surrounding the presidential election.

April 3, 2014. "Fears of Violence, Fraud Cloud Afghan Presidential Election". Voice of America.

April 3, 2014. "Elections and Foreigners: An analysis of recent Taleban violence". Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN). AAN examines the Taleban targeting of foreigners and non-combatants.

April 3, 2014. "4 Reasons Elections Won't Fix Afghanistan". The Diplomat. The Afghan security forces are still a work in progress, Taleban still enjoy sanctuaries in Pakistan, regional militant groups (as in IMU) still operate in Afghanistan, and warlords still retain much influence and power.

April 3, 2014. "Peaceful power handover in Afghan will protect gains: Kerry". Business Standard (India).

April 3, 2014. "Afghans largely left to monitor their own election". Stars and Stripes.

April 2, 2014. "The contenders in the Afghan presidency race". BBC News Asia.

April 2, 2014. "Afghan Youth for Democracy? Not all of them". Afghan Analysts Network (AAN).

April 2, 2014. "In Afghan presidential election, pro-Western front-runners compromise to woo votes". The Washington Post. Three front runners identified.

April 2, 2014. "Afghanistan's Next President Will Be . . . ". NPR.

April 2, 2014. "US urges safe, fair Afghan elections". The Hill Blog.

April 2, 2014. "Afghanistan - Call for more security for journalists covering presidential election". Thomson Reuters Foundation.

April 2, 2014. "U.S., eyeing exit and mindful of past, keeps distance from Afghan elections". Chicago Tribune.

April 2, 2014. "Despite violence and threats, Afghans show enthusiasm for upcoming election". PBS Newshour.

April 2, 2014. "Concerns over fraud precede Afghan election". UPI.

April 2, 2014. "Election Candidate Among Slain Afghan Abductees". Radio Free Europe.

April 2, 2014. "Security Lockdown in Kabul as Election Nears". Radio Free Europe.

April 2, 2014. "Afghan authorities deploys more than 95,000 troops for elections". Central Asia Online.

April 2, 2014. "Marginalized Sikhs 'Don't Care' about Afghan Election". Radio Free Europe.

April 2, 2014. "War and Unrest Provide for a Scarred Campaign Trail in Afghanistan". The New York Times.

April 2, 2014. "In Bullet-Ridden Afghan Districts, Free Vote Seems Like an Empty Promise". The New York Times. The reality of Afghanistan is that the Taleban still control many rural districts such as Charkh district in Logar province - and it is doubtful if people will even vote.

April 2, 2014. "Afghanistan Deploys Security Forces Nationwide to Secure Polls". Voice of America.

April 2, 2014. "What if the Afghan elections actually work?" CNN News.

April 1, 2014. "Rigging the Afghan Vote". The New Yorker. A dismal view of the election process in Chak district, Wardak province.

April 1, 2014. "What to Watch in the Elections: Voter Registration". AAN.

April 1, 2014. "To Protect Foreigners, Afghanistan Shuts Down Their Hangouts". The New York Times. Restaurants and hotels can reopen after the  election.

April 1, 2014. "Afghanistan presidential candidates key to fate of nation, legacy of US". Stars and Stripes.

March 31, 2014. "With No Karzai on Ballot, Afghans Study Presidential Candidates". National Public Radio.

March 31, 2014. "A Pivotal Year in Afghanistan: 2014 Presidential Election and the Planned Drawdown of U.S. and NATO Forces". Brookings Institute.

March 31, 2014. "Taliban abduct provincial candidate in Afghanistan". Stars and Stripes.

March 31, 2014. "Afghan Presidential Candidates Cancel Debates". Radio Free Europe.

March 31, 2014. "Warlords may decide Afghan elections". The New Zealand Herald. Warlords will throw their vote to a favorite during the runoff election.

March 31, 2014. "Abdullah Sees Surprise Win Making Him Afghanistan President". Bloomberg News. Seeks to avoid a runoff.

March 31, 2014. "What the Polls Tell us About the Afghan Presidential Election". Afghanistan Analyst Network.

March 30, 2014. "Tea, Soup, Sweets - - And a Little Bakshish Crucial to Afghan Campaigning". Radio Free Europe Afghan Election 2014 Blog.

March 30, 2014. "In Afghan Presidential Campaign, North is All-Important". The New York Times.

March 30, 2014. "Afghanistan 2014: political transition". Open Democracy.

March 29, 2014. "Credibility of Afghan Vote in Doubt as Foreigners Flee Violence". The New York Times.

March 29, 2014. "RC Southwest officials discuss election with Helmand, Nimroz leaders". ISAF News.

March 29, 2014. "Afghanistan's election results will need a calm response from the U.S. and partners". The Washington Post Opinions.

March 29, 2014. "Insurgents attack election commission compound in Afghan capital". The Washington Post.

March 27, 2014. "Afghan Election: First Round or Nothing for Abdullah". Radio Free Europe. A run-off would pit him against one of the eight Pashtuns in the race.

March 27, 2014. "Afghan Candidate's Bachelor Status Comes Under Fire". Radio Free Europe. Zalmai Rasul's run for presidency is hurt by his unmarried status.

March 27, 2014. "Third Candidate Withdraws From Afghan Presidential Race". Radio Free Europe. Sardar Mohammad Nader Naim withdraws and throws his support to former Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasul.

March 24, 2014. "In Afghan presidential race, wooing votes with warlords". Stars and Stripes.

March 24, 2014. "Fear of violence sends foreigners packing ahead of Afghanistan's presidential election". Stars and Stripes.

March 20, 2014. "Bold attacks raise security fears as Afghan election nears". Stars and Stripes.

March 19, 2014. "Afghan Elections 2014: What to Expect? - Analysis". Eurasia Review.

March 17, 2014. "Dividing the Field: Who shapes the electoral landscape in a Herat township - and how?" Afghanistan Analysts Network. An analysis of the electoral process at the local level that centers around the residents socio-economic survival.

March 16, 2014. "Taliban Violence Threatens to Disrupt Afghan Vote". Voice of America. ISAF says the threats are meant to provide a perception of insecurity with the hope of diminishing election turnout and thereby disrupting and discrediting the election.

March 14, 2014. "Afghan Security Forces focus on Upcoming Election". American Forces Press Service. COMISAF provides context of election security.

March 13, 2014. "Afghan vote won't be trouble-free, U.N.'s Ban says". UPI.

March 10, 2014. "Afghans Find Their Way". Center for American Progress. This paper provides an analysis on three transitions underway in Afghanistan and how U.S. policymakers and the international community can support these transitions.

March 8, 2014. "U.S., Afghan military try to get out the vote, prevent Taliban disruption of key election". The Washington Post. This news article depicts the difficulty of securing remote districts so that fair elections can take place.

March 7, 2014. "Karzai's brother says he quit Afghan presidential race in favor of moderate". U.S. News and World Report.

March 7, 2014. "Rethinking Needed on Afghanistan - Analysis". Eurasia Review. This article examines the different political factions and importance of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).

March 6, 2014. "U.S. Role in Afghan Vote". The New York Times. Opinion on elections by former assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs.

March 6, 2014. "Afghan Presidential Candidates Debate Foreign Policy". Salem News. Three of the eleven candidates discuss foreign policy.

March 5, 2014. "Karzai brother to withdraw from Afghan presidential race: rival". Chicago Tribune. It appears that Qayum Karzai may withdraw from the race and through his support to a rival.

March 4, 2014. "A Month Before Afghan Election, Karzai Maneuvers to Retain Influence". Radio Free Europe. Three of the eleven candidates identified as surrogates for Hamid Karzai - placeholders for influence going into elections.

March 4, 2014. "Afghan elections key test for new security forces". USA Today.

February 28, 2014. "Afghan Warlord in Election Turnaround". Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar pursues war and ballot presence.

February 19, 2014. "Abdullah aims for knock-out blow in Afghan elections". Japan Times. Hopes to garner 50% of the vote in the first round of voting.

February 16, 2014. "Afghan Presidential Hopefuls Debate Corruption, Peace, Women's Rights". Radio Free Europe.

February 14, 2014. "Afghan Youth Debates: Concerns About Youth Awareness of Polls". Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Some question whether the elections are being advertised enough by the Afghan government.

February 9, 2014. "West hopes for best of worst in Afghanistan". The Chronicle Herald. A Canadian observer comments on Afghan presidential candidates.

February 9, 2014. "Afghanistan: Candidates' Position on Rights in Spotlight". Human Rights Watch. Afghan contenders respond to survey questions by HRW.

February 9, 2014. "Afghanistan's Future: Who's Who in Pivotal Presidential Election". NBC News.

February 6, 2014. "Former warlord launches campaign to succeed Karzai". The Washington Post. News article about Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf.

February 6, 2014. "Candidates for Afghanistan's presidential election". Charlotte Observer. A profile of the eleven candidates is provided.

February 5, 2014. "Afghanistan: UN official says women's participation 'key measure' of election's success". UN News Centre.

February 5, 2014. "Asia 21 Young Leaders Help Make History in Afghanistan Presidential Debate". Asia Society.

February 2, 2014. "As campaign begins, Afghans look for results, not promises". Stars and Stripes. Empty promises by Karzai disappoint Afghans.

January 30, 2014. "U.S. cancels funds for Afghan polls ahead of elections". Reuters. Accusations of election meddling have forced the cancellation of the polls.

January 23, 2014. "Afghanistan's Presidential Election Goes Awry". Brookings. The institute sends a memo to President Obama with recommendations for the Afghan elections.

January 21, 2014. "As Taliban steps up attacks, can Afghanistan hold peaceful national polls?" Christian Science Monitor security Watch.

January 11, 2014. "Afghan officials say own troops to secure election". The Washington Post. An Afghan spokesman expressed confidence that the ANSF will be able to provide security for many of the election polling stations.

January 2, 2014. "Looking Ahead: Why 2014 Will Be A Huge Year for Afghanistan". KGOU. Andrew Wilder of the USIP provides the U.S. some recommendations on its approach to the Afghan elections.

December 28, 2013. "Why Afghanistan's election campaign may look familiar to American TV viewers". World News NBC. Afghan TV mimics the U.S. TV networks.

December 27, 2013. "Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope for the Best in 2014". NPR Parallels. Afghan's worry about the elections, women's rights, slowing economy, lack of security, and the Taliban.

December 20, 2013. "Taliban conflicted over how to disrupt elections". Army Times.

December 18, 2013. "Controversial ID Cards Expose Ethnic Divisions in Afghanistan". Radio Free Europe.

December 10, 2013. "Afghanistan Faces Crucial Year of Elections, Security Transition". Voice of America. There will be fraud and abuse in the Afghan election; the question is just how messy will it be.

December 4, 2013. "A Conversation with Afghanistan Governance & Elections Expert Idrees Ilham". In Asia.

December 4, 2013. "Afghanistan: UN lauds appointment of media commission as key step for 2014 elections". UN News Centre.

December 4, 2013. "ISAF Ministers encouraged by preparations for 2014 Afghan elections". NATO.

December 2, 2013. "Lack of Cash, Monitors Adds to Afghan Election Troubles". Voice of America.

November 21, 2013. "Afghan Youth Debates: What's the Point of Voting?" IWPR.

November 17, 2013. "Decoding the Afghan Elections - Analysis". By Raghav Sharma, Eurasia Review.

November 14, 2013. "Security Worries Raised at Afghan Election Debate". Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

November 7, 2013. "Officials: Few Afghans registered for 2014 vote". Las Vegas Sun. Only 1/4 of eligible voters have registered with just for days left in registration period.

October 29, 2013. "Afghan police unable to deliver election materials to Taliban-controlled areas". Stars and Stripes.

October 26, 2013. "Disqualification of Afghan Presidential Candidates Sparks Row". Radio Free Europe. The IEC provides no explanation of why candidates were disqualified.

October 25, 2013. "Will the Next Afghan President be a Pen, Radio, or Bulldozer?" Radio Free Europe. For each of the presidential candidates there will be a symbol on the ballot paper as well as the photograph and name of each candidate.

October 24, 2013. "Only Woman Running for Afghan President Gets Disqualified". Time. Intrigue and acrimony already swirls around Kabul.

October 23, 2013. "Afghan presidential candidate field narrowed down to 10". Foreign Policy. The IEC drops candidates because of disqualification.

October 22, 2013. "Afghan commission disqualifies 16 candidates from running for president in April election". The Washington Post. Almost all major candidates survive the cut; most are eliminated because of dual citizenship, inadequate registration paperwork, lack of college degree.

October 22, 2013. "And then there were ten: Preliminary final list of presidential candidates out". Kate Clark - Afghanistan Analysts Network.

October 21, 2013. "Afghan election candidates warned over phone bombs". Global Post. The Afghan Intel service (NDS) warns presidential candidates.

October 20, 2013. "Afghanistan Isn't Ready to Vote". by Sarah Chayes, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

October 20, 2013. "An Exit Strategy From Afghanistan". The New York Times. A discussion about the ability of the Afghan elections to hold country together.

October 17, 2013. "Afghanistan: Towards a brighter future or darker past?" BBC News Asia. An international correspondent comments on election outcomes.

October 14, 2013. "Warlords Seen as a Losing Ticket in Afghan Election". Radio Free Europe. Dostum, Ismail Khan, and others found on ballots for Afghan president.

October 8, 2013. "As Afghan Presidential Race Begins Warlords are Prominent". National Public Radio. One specific contender, Abdul Rab Rasoul Sayyaf, has many very worried.

October 7, 2013. "Ahead of Afghan elections, warlords and bureaucrats prepare campaigns". The Washington Post.

October 7, 2013. "Controversial Afghan candidates stir election". Google News.

October 6, 2013. "Warlords and politicians rush to register for Afghanistan presidential election". The Telegraph. Abdullah Abdullah among the many candidates to register.

October 3, 2013. "Afghanistan: preparations for elections 'creating a more positive environment,' says UN official". UN News Centre.

September 18, 2013. "Nominations Open in Afghan Election for Karzai Successor". Radio Free Europe.

September 10, 2013. "Ahead of Presidential Vote, Afghan Political Forces Divide Along Ethnic Lines", Radio Free Europe.

September 1, 2013. "Afghan Parties Jockey for Power Ahead of Presidential Vote". Radio Free Europe. A detailed look at the current campaign.

August 26, 2013. "Afghan Leader in Pakistan to Discuss Peace Talks". The New York Times.

August 25, 2013. "In Afghanistan, Karzai vows not to interfere with election of next president". The Washington Post.

August 3, 2013. "UN Mission in Afghanistan welcomes appointment of members to electoral body". UN News Centre.

July 31, 2013. "Karzai backers seek delay in Afghan vote". The Washington Post.

July 24, 2013. "Afghan election will be a bellwether". The Washington Post. An much-improved election law passed by parliament and signed by Karzai provides hope that the Afghan elections will be held after all.

July 15, 2013. "UN mission welcomes progress on key Afghan election law ahead of 2014 polls". UN News Centre. The law will regulate the structure and responsibilities of the country's electoral management bodies.

July 15, 2013. "Afghan legislators approve new election law ahead of 2014 presidential poll". Fox News. The law, yet to be signed by President Karzai will govern how the presidential and provincial council elections are run next year.

July 8, 2013. "Helmand Gathering Calls for Afghan Election Delay". Institute for War & Peace Reporting. Gathering attributed to Karzai manipulations.

July 7, 2013. "Norway threatens to cut Afghan aid". Fox News. Norway, one of the top ten aid donors to Afghanistan, threatens to cut aid because of a lack of progress with election reform. Good to see that at least one country has a clue.

July 5, 2013. "Post-2014 Afghanistan: Another King Upon an Ant Hill". Small Wars Journal. A paper on choices to make about the future of Afghanistan.

July 4, 2013. "A Guide to Afghanistan in Four Scenarios - Analysis". Eurasia Review. A writer presents four possible scenarios for the upcoming election.

July 3, 2013. "Credible 2014 elections vital to progress on Afghan transition - deputy UN chief". UN News Centre.

July 3, 2013. "Donor nations demand Afghan laws to ensure fair elections". Fox News. Some finally realize, to late, they are getting "played" by Karzai.

June 9, 2013. "Fraud-free Election is Crucial for Afghanistan". Daily Outlook Afghanistan.  Corruption and limited rule of law are constraints.

June 3, 2013. "Afghans lay groundwork for 2014 election". The Washington Post.

May 28, 2013. "Choosing sides in Afghanistan". Los Angeles Times. Article by Max Boot endorses US intervention in the Afghan election.

May 27, 2013. "Afghanistan Begins Registration for 2014 Elections". Radio Free Europe.

May 26, 2013. "Karzai's brother plans independent run in Afghan election". Qayum Karzai to run as candidate with the Movement for the Support of the People or De Woles De Mulatar Baheer. His win would spare Hamid Karzai of any investigation of the massive corruption prevalent in his administration.

May 26, 2013. "Afghanistan Begins New Voter Registration Push". Democracy Chronicles. Registration in preparation for 2014 elections.

May 26, 2013. "Voter registration for Afghan presidential election begins". The Washington Post. Poor security will be a major challenge to the process.

May 2013. "Prospects for Afghanistan's 2014 Elections". United States Institute of Peace.

May 18, 2013. "ANSF plans security for 2014 national election".

April 15, 2013. "Majority of Afghans intend to take part in upcoming elections, survey reveals". ReliefWeb.

April 15, 2013. "Take the Bilateral Security Agreement out of Afghan Politics". Carnegie Endowment. Sarah Chayes says to hold off negotiations with Karzai.

April 9, 2013. "Credible Afghan Presidential Vote Hinges on Process, Politics". ReliefWeb. Article discusses the pitfalls and promise of the upcoming election.

April 1, 2013. "A Better Afghanistan: Will require a better president". Max Boot, The Weekly Standard. Boot advocates that the U.S. influence the Afghan election.

February 20, 2013. "Afghanistan's Fawzia Kooki will stand in presidential elections". The Star. A popular female MP will run supporting Afghan women and opposing corruption.

February 11, 2013. "Official Stresses Importance of 2014 Afghan Elections". American Forces Press Service.

November 5, 2012. "With election day set, many Afghans doubt vote will be fair". Stars and Stripes.

August 20, 2009. "5 Thoughts on the Afghan Election". Huffington Post.


Return to Top of Page


1. For more info on the fears of a corrupt election see "With election day set, many Afghans doubt vote will be fair", Stars and Stripes, November 5, 2012 accessed here.

2. For more on the fraudulent voter registration cards issued by Karzai in 2009 and the reasoning for new ones to be issued in their place see "Afghanistan on the Brink of Disaster", Diplomat Courier, by Nasir Shansab, May 23, 2013 accessed here.

3. Sarah Chayes testified on May 21, 2013. The transcript entitled "Prospects for Afghanistan's 2014 Elections" can be viewed here on the Carnegie Endowment website.

4. According to the head of the IEC voter registration teams will not go to unsecured areas (see news article in Radio Free Europe dated 27 May 2013 here).

5. For a list of some of those selected to be on the IEC by Karzai see "Karzai appoints new members of Afghan electoral body", Fox News, July 29, 2013. Accessed here.

6. Quote from FM 3-24.2, Tactics in Counterinsurgency, Chapter 7, "Stability Operations Considerations in Counterinsurgency", April 21, 2009, page 7-17. FM can be accessed here.

7. Read a news article about Fawzia Koofi here entitled "Afghanistan's answer to Hillary Clinton: Fawzia Koofi launches bid to be president", NBC World News, September 26, 2013.

8. For more on the selling and buying of voter cards see "Votes sell for about $5 in Afghanistan as presidential race begins", Chicago Tribune, October 15, 2013. Story available online here.

9. To see the list of presidential candidates dropped in October 2013 by the IEC see "Eight Afghan presidential hopefuls dropped from contenders list", Business Standard, October 20, 2013 available here.

10. One long-term observer of the Afghan scene (having lived there from 2002 to 2012) - Sarah Chayes does not think the Afghans are ready for an election - that it is too soon. Read a recent article by Sarah entitled "Afghanistan Isn't Ready to Vote", Bloomberg News, October 21, 2013 available here.

11.  The only female candidate was disqualified; read more in "Afghanistan's only female presidential candidate demands right to run", The Telegraph, October 25, 2013.

12. For more on the Bilateral Security Agreement and Abdullah Abdullah see a news story on CNN published on Feb 3, 2014.

13. For more on the ineffectiveness of the Afghan Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) read "Afghanistan's election watchdog plagued by delays, funding woes", Reuters, February 6, 2014. See news story here.

14. For more on the Taliban and the 2014 elections read The Taliban's View of the 2014 Elections, by Michael Semple, United States Institute of Peace, January 30, 2014.

15. Read more on Wardak dropping out of presidential race in "Ex-defense minister drops out of Afghan presidential race", Stars and Stripes, March 16, 2014. See news story here.

16. Read a story about targeting of Afghan Election Commission workers in "9 killed in attack on Afghanistan election commission", Stars and Stripes, March 25, 2014.

17. See "How to Commit Afghan Voter Fraud in a Few Simple Steps". Radio Free Europe. A correspondent from Australian describes how he registered to vote.

18. For more info on Afghan election polling centres read Election 2014: The polling centres that were taken off the list, Afghanistan Analysts Network, 4 April 14. . . .

19. For more on election monitoring see "Afghans largely left to monitor their own election", Stars and Stripes, April 3, 2014.

20. For more on locations of polling stations see "Concern over polling in Afghan schools and clinics", IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis, April 2, 2014.

21. See Most Afghans Lack Confidence in Elections, Gallup World, April 2, 2014.

22. For more on the lack of international monitoring of the 2014 elections see Under Fire: The status of the 2014 election observation, Afghanistan Analysts Network, April 5, 2014.

23. ISAF congratulated the ANSF and stated that " . . . their brave and heroic actions demonstrate their dedication to a secure, stable and unified Afghanistan". See Chairman, ISAF  Chief Salute Afghans for Security Elections, American Forces Press Service, April 5, 2014.

24. For initial assessment of voter turnout see a story posted by Reuters on April 5, 14.

25. For more on the election results in Nerkh district, Wardak province read "In Taliban stronghold, a scared electorate", The Washington Post, April 6, 2014. See story here.

26. For more info on voting by ethnic group see a news report - "Afghanistan's presidential election got high turnout, but many still voted along ethnic lines", The Washington Post, April 7, 2014.

27. For more on Abdullah's call for end to vote count see "Afghan candidate calls for end to vote count; could further delay security agreement", Stars and Stripes, June 18, 2014 available here.



All external sites open up in an new window.  Please report any broken links or inaccuracies in content to the webmaster at