The Constitutional State of Afghanistan

By | March 21, 2021

The constitutional state

By the Loya Jirga adopted on 4 January 2004 constitution provides for a presidential democratic system modeled after the United States. The president is directly elected by the people for a maximum of two terms of office of five years each and is head of state and head of government in one person. He is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, appoints judges, the attorney general, ambassadors and senior officials.

The parliament (national assembly) is divided into two chambers, the popularly elected lower house (Wolesi Jirga) and the upper house (Meshrano Jirga), which is made up of delegates elected by the provincial and district councils and high-ranking experts appointed by the president (half of them women) composed. Both chambers together represent the supreme legislative body in Afghanistan, the Wolesi Jirga also has the right to express the distrust of parliament to members of the government, as well as to make the final decisions on the state budget and development plans as well as appointments by the president. Parliament was first elected by the people in spring 2005, on September 18 Parliamentary elections were held for the second time in 2010, this time at the same time as the district council elections, and the third parliamentary elections were held on October 20, 2018.

Afghanistan is a country located in southern Asia according to computergees. On August 20, 2009, presidential and provincial council elections were held. In the run-up to the election there was widespread electoral fraudreported by regional rulers; in addition, several dozen polling stations in the south and east of the country had to remain closed for security reasons. Due to these irregularities, the announcement of the official final result was long delayed. Since incumbent Karzai did not achieve the necessary absolute majority minus the falsified votes, a run-off election between Karzai and his challenger Abdullah Abdullah was to take place on November 7, 2009. However, Abdullah withdrew his candidacy in protest of possible new election manipulations, so that now Karzai was officially declared the election winner and could rule for five more years. On September 29, 2014, he was replaced by his successor Ashraf Ghani.

In special cases such as pending constitutional changes, the President can convene the Loya Jirga as an extraordinary form of the National Assembly; it consists of members of both houses of parliament as well as the chairmen of the provincial and district councils.

The chief judges are appointed by the president but are not bound by government instructions. The constitution provides for a Supreme Court as the final judicial instance, with higher and appellate courts subordinate to it. In cases that are not covered by state law, the judges should decide according to the principles of the Hanefite Islamic school of law or, if members of the Shiite minority are concerned, according to Shiite law.

The Afghan state is organized centrally; At the head of the 34 provinces at the moment are councils elected by the respective electorate who send representatives to the Meshrano Jirga, but do not have the power to separate legislation at the provincial level. In all provinces there are also comparable bodies at the district and municipal level.

Serious allegations against the Vice President

The first Vice-President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, reportedly defeated his political opponent Ahmed Eshchi in a rage on the sidelines of a Buzkashi game in late November 2016. Subsequently, his bodyguards allegedly mistreated, kidnapped and raped Eshchi at his behest. The incident is said to have occurred shortly after Dostum’s rant against President Ashraf Ghani.

Dostum is already more dissatisfied with the unity government and criticized it ever again sharply. Most recently, he threatened to terminate the collaboration.

The USA, EU, Australia and Canada are calling for an investigation into the incident. The independent Afghan human rights organization AIHRC also calls on the government to examine the facts transparently, regardless of the person.

Ahmed Eshchi himself refused to allow a Jirga held in the matter of the proposal Dostum supporters, and demanded the judicial authorities of the country in which investigations take. The attorney general is already investigating and has issued summons to Dostum and his bodyguards, which have so far only been partially complied with. Also detention orders against the bodyguards have not been enforced.

Since criminal proceedings for the kidnapping and torture of a political competitor were opened against Dostum and his bodyguards, Dostum has been practically under house arrest. He and his followers deny the allegations made and face a politically motivated campaign against the Vice President. The process has been dragging on for months now, with no discernible result and could prove to be a acid test for the Afghan legal and judicial system.

According to unconfirmed sources, the Ghani government is said to have tried to deport Dostum into exile in Turkey in order to bring about such a ‘solution’ in this case. In this regard, talks with the Turkish President Erdogan are said to have already taken place and a Turkish plane to have landed in Kabul to take the Vice President on board. In the end, Dostum was in exile in Turkey. According to the official wording, however, he only received medical treatment there. He himself intends to return to Afghanistan after the medical examinations are over, according to a spokesman for him.

Meanwhile, seven of his bodyguards in the absence shall be eight years in prison for illegal detention and sexual assault was sentenced. Dostum himself is now after 14-month exile in Afghanistan returned. The pending proceedings against him are to be continued.

The President

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani