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Taliban call to reject and resist elections.

March 13, 2014

Summary: Taliban state the Afghan presidential elections are rigged and must be rejected and resisted by all Afghans.  They are unlikely to achieve a significant disruption to the ballot (due 5th April).

Photos of Afghan maps 006In case there was any doubt, the Taliban have come out with a strong line against Afghan participation in the Afghan presidential elections, due to take place (and still seemingly on track) on 5th April.  The Taliban’s official statement hits three themes:

  • The election is a con because it is all being rigged by the US to “install a head of state who appears Afghan but will have an American mentality”
  • All educated and prominent Afghans – scholars, elders etc – must denounce the election
  • All aspects of the election must be “disrupted” by the Taliban: “use all force at its disposal to disrupt these upcoming sham elections; target all its workers, activists, callers, security apparatus and offices”

Interestingly, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of one of the other two insurgent groups, has called upon his own supporters to take part in the election and vote for Qutbuddin Helal, a senior Hekmatyar loyalist.

The Taliban’s reminder of the risks of collateral damage comes last:

Taliban flag“We once again call on all of our countrymen to keep away from electoral offices, voting booths, rallies and campaigns so that may Allah forbid, their lives are not put into danger. If anyone still persists on participating then they are solely responsible of any loss in the future.”

Dr Abdullah Abdullah’s election camapign started badly when two of his campaign officials were killed.  Further to this, in a previous report I noted Michael Semple’s assessment that the Taliban, although opposed to the elections, still watched the process with great interest and internal discussion, with actual actions to be taken to disrupt the election a little unclear and open to the interpretation of local commanders – not everyone is going to be blowing people up.  Unless the Taliban get very lucky, it remains difficult to see them preventing the election from taking place or even significantly disrupting it.

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