The Legal Framework of Presidential Elections in Afghanistan: A Critical Analysis

Mr. Khawaja Jamshid Seddiqi

Volume 1 Issue 1 | Dec 2019

DOI: 10.31841/KJL.2021.3

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Pursuant to the Constitution of Afghanistan 2004, President is Head of the State as well as Head of the Government exercising his authorities in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the State. President is required to occupy his office consequent to free, general, secret and direct elections where he receives more than fifty present of the casted votes. The Constitution also requires that Presidential candidate should be Afghan citizen, at least 40 years old, Muslim, born of Afghan parents and shall not hold any other nationality. Moreover, it requires that candidates should neither be convicted for crimes against humanity, nor be deprived of civil rights by a competent court. This paper looks for gaps in the process of presidential elections laid down by the Constitution and the Election Law. Among others, it finds that the criterion for candidacy is flawed on the grounds that, inter alia, experience and managerial capacity is not given its due value, emergency elections are not properly dealt with, and the schedule set for different phases of elections process. Recommendations are also made at the end so that the legislature may fill in the gaps existing in the system whenever it is appropriate to do so.