Karzai Might Be Right

On January 19, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, following the advice of a special court he had created for the purpose of overseeing Afghanistan’s parliamentary-election process, decided to postpone the seating of the new parliament which had been scheduled for this weekend. The decision leaves the country still with no parliament, sidelines the two commissions that had been specially created to oversee the election, and raises new worries that Karzai is abusing his powers as president.

For all that, it may have been the right move—that is, IF Karzai and other actors now take seriously the job before them. They must find a compromise that simultaneously empowers and legitimates the efforts of the millions of voters who went to the polls back in September, minimizes infringement upon the work of the two bodies that were supposed to oversee the election process—the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC)—and also redresses the shortcomings of what happened in September.

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