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Uncertainty looms for Afghanistan with no post Karzai succession plan in place: Analysts

June 14, 2012 - Kabul

Uncertainty looms over Aghanistan's future as political analysts claim President Hamid Karzai will be taking advantage of the weaknesses in the system and of the fragile state of the country, to ensure that he will retain power for years to come in some form.

As US and NATO forces hand over security responsibilities in Afghanistan to the country's own forces, political parties and presidential hopefuls are preparing for what could be the most pivotal presidential elections in Afghan history.

Although a successful security handover hinges on an effective political transition from the current administration of Karzai to a new leadership, Afghan leaders inside and outside of the government believe Karzai hasn't done enough to set up a political system that will support a new president.

"[Karzai] didn't encourage a young generation of Afghan leaders to emerge. He didn't support the development of strong multiethnic political groups or parties, nor did he form his own party, which leads one to believe that he had a political agenda and did not want to build the political capacity of the country," the Christian Science Monitor quoted Hamidullah Farooqi, spokesperson for the Truth and Justice Party, as saying who has been a former Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation under Karzai.

The report said that if he moves up elections, Karzai would have to resign and his first vice president, Mohammad Qasim Fahim, would take over, following which, according to Afghanistan's constitution, emergency elections would then have to be scheduled within three months.

Waheed Mujda, a Kabul-based political analyst, said that would mean Karzai may be able to push through a candidate he endorses without giving other candidates enough time to prepare for the elections and properly campaign.

"In the 10 years that he has been in power, Karzai has not fostered a real and open political process. The upcoming presidential elections will be as much about tribal and ethnic power as it was 10 years ago," said Mujda.

Only two people have formally announced that they intended to run for the presidency at this point: Ali Ahmad Jalali, a former Minister of Interior in the Karzai administration and Fawzia Koofi, the current and first female deputy speaker of Afghanistan's parliament.


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