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Electoral Democracy: Still The Road Less Traveled By

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Chapter Summary

Armed with a democracy-driven permanent constitution, both Afghanistan and Iraq entered the final lap of holding elections and producing a functional government with understandable trepidation. Afghanistan's erstwhile Interim Government (IG) splintered along the lines of its underlying Pashtun-Tadjik cleavage; Taleban had signaled its revival; and the multilateral force was still not in complete and continuous control of the country itself. Iraq's Sunnis ended their boycott of parliamentary proceedings, but as the Sunni insurgency crested, so too Shi’ite expectations of finally governing the country. This chapter discusses: (a) elections and governmental performances; as well as (b) contexts and verdicts. The political-religious balance seems to be projecting two different trajectories, with Afghanistan keeping religious preferences at bay, even utilizing religion as a political instrument under Karzai, and Iraq being driven by religious preferences, in spite of Kurd resistance, owing to the Shi’a majority status.

Keywords: Afghanistan; electoral democracy; Iraq; Karzai; Kurd resistance; Pashtun-Tadjik cleavage; Sunni - Shi'a schism; Taleban



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