Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Afghan Elections remind us never to take democracy for granted

I love this picture - it sums up the determination of the Afghan people - and the women in particular - to get to the polls, notwithstanding huge delays and torrential rain.  More than seven million Afghans turned out to vote, defying Taliban militant threats to the poll. The election marks the country's first democratic transfer of power. It will take at least another week before the winner is confirmed. If none of the eight candidates gets more than 50% of the vote, Afghans will vote again in a second round.
But the BBC reports that many Afghans feel their country has already won by holding a relatively peaceful poll. Turnout was double that of the last presidential election in 2009, despite major Taliban attacks in the run-up to voting and a cold, rainy polling day.
There are plenty of countries out there with no democracy, and precious few freedoms. The issues to be decided are genuinely significant: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-26747496