Political Parties in Afghanistan

Posted in Broader Middle East | 03-Jun-05 | Source: International Crisis Group

Amid rising popular discontent, the Afghan government and its international partners must strengthen political parties if the country's transition is to succeed. As parliamentary elections approach in September 2005, President Karzai's government would be best served by bringing any political party, regardless of its political leanings, into the legal fold if it demonstrates a willingness to work peacefully and democratically. It should revise the Political Parties Law to remove unnecessary curbs on party formation and functioning; simplify the registration process; provide government funding to parties; and shift oversight of parties from the Ministry of Justice to an independent election commission. The government should also reconsider urgently its decision to conduct the parliamentary elections under the single non-transferable vote system, which is likely to produce unrepresentative results.