Coalition government in Afghanistan is better option to achieve progress: director of Norwegian institute
Azerbaijan, Baku, November 3 / Trend , E.Ostapenko /
Hamid Karzai's creating a coalition government with Abdullah Abdullah is an acceptable option for Afghanistan, although in this case, the country will not be able to avoid many problems, said Kristian Berg Harpviken, Director of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO).
"A coalition government will in no way solve Afghanistan's problems, but it is a better foundation for progress that either of the alternatives," Harpviken, who deals with matters of regional security in Southeast Asia, told Trend .
On Monday, the Central Election Commission of Afghanistan declared the current head of state Karzai the winner of the presidential elections and cancelled the second round of voting scheduled for Nov. 7. The CEC made such a decision in connection with the fact that the second presidential candidate - former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah - on Sunday stated his refusal to participate in the elections.
The situation in Afghanistan remains critical. Despite billions of dollars in assistance by the international community, Afghanistan is practically the poorest country in the world. Twelve million people in Afghanistan (in total about 26 million people live in the country) live under poverty.
Under the governance of Karzai - current president of the country since 2001 - the level of the drug trade in Afghanistan has increased as compared to the period of Taliban's governance (1996 - 2001). He failed to suppress the armed resistance of the Taliban and the real power in the country remains in the hands of warlords. Over the past 20 years, the country has been mired in corruption.
According to Harpviken, in the current situation, there are no solutions that are really good. Rather it is a question of what is the least bad solution, he said.
"A coalition government is better than the alternative, said Harpviken. But also a coalition government will face massive problems."
Abdullah and Karzai have developed a bad personal relationship. According to the expert, they both seek power for themselves and their supporters, and will fight hard over the posts in the cabinet. They also disagree on key political issues, including whether it is possible to negotiate with parts of the Taliban.
Karzai himself has lost much of his legitimacy among the Afghan population, as well as in relation to his international counterparts, he said.
"It is very likely that a new government, led by Karzai, will be very difficult for the international community to work with," Harpviken said.
As to his future government, his candidates for the two vice president posts have already been announced, and there are rumors that cabinet posts have been promised to former warlords who are currently not in the government, the expert said.
Government instability in Afghanistan can be countered by the ever-growing influence of radical Islamist Taliban movement, which has a strong presence in the south and south-east of the country.
According to the information provided by the International Council on Security and Development, now Taliban has a constant presence in 80 percent of Afghan territory, while in November 2008, its presence was recorded only in 72 percent of the territory, but in 2007 - 54 percent.
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