September 19, 2005


Little Violence as Afghans Cast Votes: Turnout in the parliamentary poll appears strong, but less than October's balloting for president. A huge security force is in place. (Paul Watson, September 19, 2005, LA Times)

Afghan voters defied insurgent threats and elected their parliament for the first time in more than three decades Sunday as a massive security operation foiled Taliban attempts to disrupt the poll.

There were 19 attacks across the country, but they were "very minor," said Peter Erben, chief electoral officer. Three voters were injured in different incidents in the eastern province of Kunar, he said. [...]

In Sunday's vote, Afghans elected 249 members of the National Assembly's lower house, called the Wolesi Jirga, or House of the People. They also cast ballots for 34 provincial councils. Election workers are set to start counting ballots Tuesday, and final results are not expected for at least two weeks.

It was the first time Afghans had elected the lower house of their National Assembly in 36 years, and only the third parliamentary election since 1964, when the Afghan king introduced democratic reforms.

"We are making history," Karzai said as he cast his ballot. "It's the day of self-determination for the Afghan people. After 30 years of wars, interventions, occupations and misery, today Afghanistan is moving forward, making an economy, making political institutions."

Despite the Left's apparent hopes that they'll fail, just so W gets his comeuppance.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 19, 2005 8:49 AM

I thought the left supported the Afghan liberation, that is after they protested against it.

Posted by: Genecis at September 19, 2005 11:32 AM

The constant whine since invading Iraq has been that we couldn't handle two wars at once and that the Taliban was staging a comeback.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 19, 2005 11:41 AM

Just as they lusted after hurricane casulties, so the left craves military defeat. That's what folk-enemies and culture-traitors do.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 19, 2005 11:58 AM

I'm curious. What did you think of Egypt's first "free" election? I'll check back for the answer.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at September 20, 2005 1:58 AM

Egyptian opposition groups thought that it was pretty spiffy.

While it's a long road from there to Anglospheric elections, Egypt has definitely taken the first step.

Whether they stay the course depends in part on what happens regionally.
If Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Palestine are all holding more-or-less fair elections, and Kuwait and Arabia are electing local officials, Egypt will both feel pressure to follow suite, and will want to do so.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 2:08 AM


I thought it compared favorably to our first.

Posted by: oj at September 20, 2005 7:28 AM

You're aware, of course, that Mubarik got a higher percentage of votes in the "free" election than he did in the previous fixed ones?

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at September 20, 2005 1:19 PM


He's a popular leader.

Posted by: oj at September 20, 2005 1:30 PM

oj. I wonder if Mubarak would decline being crowned king as the winner of our first election did? We certainly lucked out with our founding fathers. I hope we will be able to live up to our heritage.

Posted by: erp at September 20, 2005 4:46 PM


He has so far.

Posted by: oj at September 20, 2005 6:19 PM

oj. Has he been asked?

Posted by: erp at September 21, 2005 12:05 PM

The military would as soon have him just declare his son his successor. He's decided he can succeed him via election.

Posted by: oj at September 21, 2005 1:13 PM