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A bright day for democracy

On Saturday, Kabul's well-known bookseller Shah Muhammad Rais was to come to Norway, but the UDI withdrew his visa. Here is the bookseller's own description of the recent election in Afghanistan, a text written only for the weekly newspaper Ny Tid.


Kabul, Afghanistan. An election has a different content in Afghanistan than in the West. It has been 30 years since the country last had a parliament, and during the past three decades the democratic experience has been disturbed by war and violence, the Afghan mass exodus to neighboring countries, the warlords' unfolding, the influence of the drug mafia on politics, the collapse of the state in the 1990s. and the Taliban's rigid version of an Islamic state.

This has made it difficult for Afghans to understand the significance of an election. This has also been a major challenge for the foreign supporters of President Hamid Karzai's transitional government. According to the Bonn agreement from 2001, Afghanistan was to hold both presidential and parliamentary elections as early as June 2004. Following reports from voters, candidates, the UN and international groups, the elections were postponed and separated. . .

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