Chaos at Afghan elections

17 September 2005

Chaos at Afghan elections

The SP will not be sending an observer to tomorrow's elections in Afghanistan. A last-minute invitation to go to Kabul received this week from the NATO parliamentary assembly by SP Senator Tiny Kox has been turned down. Explaining his decision, Senator Kox said “If Sunday's elections turn out to be anything like the organisation regarding the sending of observers, we can expect complete chaos.”

Senator Kox had, in his capacity as a member of the NATO assembly, volunteered to be an observer of the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan. Following an initial agreement, however, the plan to send a party of observers from NATO was suddenly scrapped on the grounds that NATO forces in the country did not feel that they could guarantee the observers' safety. Then, at the beginning of this week, this decision was reversed and an urgent call was put out to Kox and others to travel as an observer to Afghanistan after all, with a request to bring a sleeping bag and the announcement that NATO could provide neither transport nor definite arrangements as to where the observers would be deployed. Senator Kox's response was to say that “This is a complete mess and I'm not going along with it. I have the impression that by drumming up some members of parliament at the last minute NATO is trying to give the impression that everything is going well. I won't have anything to do with such nonsense.”

The SP Senator fears that Sunday's elections will be to a large extent managed and manipulated by people working for the warlords and drug barons who, since the fall of the Taliban regime, have effectively ruled much of the country. “In the last few years they have controlled the country's development, ensuring that it has become the world's biggest opium producer and purveyor of heroine to the European market. Ninety percent of illegal European opiates now originate there,. If the warlords and drug barons succeed on Sunday in having their pawns elected to parliament, we will see the world's first democratic narcostate.

Tiny Kox“The question now is what the Netherlands should be doing about the country's military involvement in Afghanistan. As things stand Dutch military personnel form part of the ISAF forces under NATO leadership, whose responsibility is to ensure the preservation of a fragile peace in Kabul and other regions. Other Dutch soldiers are fighting under American leadership against remnants of the Taliban administration. It is possible that after Sunday the Netherlands will have to cooperate over these military operations with a parliament in which all sorts of criminal elements have their fingers in the pie.”

In November the NATO parliamentary assembly will gather in Copenhagen for its annual meeting. The SP Senator will be demanding that the chaotic state of affairs surrounding the Afghan elections be put on the agenda..

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