It comes as little surprise that the Taliban has called on Afghans not to vote in legislative elections Sunday.
The Taliban shura council appeals to the Afghan people not to take part in the September 18 elections as this election farce is also an American plan. Therefore, not only should the Afghan people stay away from the elections, they should also try to sabotage them.
Meanwhile, warlords are looking to influence the elections. The LA Times reports that an Electoral Complaints Commission, comprised of three foreigners and two Afghans, has attempted to screen out candidates with connections to militias. However, its ability to do so has been limited:
Unlike other regions that endured brutal conflicts such as Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the former Yugoslavia, East Timor and now Iraq, Afghanistan has seen no international effort to investigate or prosecute war criminals.
Instead, many of those who might have faced a court have been rewarded with positions as police chiefs, military commanders and politicians, said Mehdad Noorani, editor and publisher of the weekly Taraqi.
1. SNTV puts a premium on personal connections (e.g. being a local notable of any kind) rather than party reputation; and
2. SNTV practically guarantees tiny margins of votes between the last few winners in a district and the first few losers.
What you wind up with, then, is that even voters who brave threats of violence and want to help put an end to the grip warlords have on their country will find it extremely difficult to use these elections to further that purpose.