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Maoists denounce Afghanistan elections

19 September 2005. A World to Win News Service.

Initial reports on the parliamentary and municipal elections held throughout Afghanistan 18 September indicate a setback for US efforts to legitimise its occupation at the polls.

Afghan officials say that about 50 percent of registered voters turned out, a big drop from last year’s presidential election in which they claimed that almost 75 percent cast ballots and magically turned the US-appointed Hamid Karzai into something other than an American puppet. Foreign journalists indicate an even greater rejection of the new elections. “Several polling centres in the capital, Kabul, and rural areas south of the city were almost deserted by noon,” the WashingtonPost wrote. One of Kabul’s biggest centres saw only a thousand of an expected 6,000 voters show up, BBC said, and some were visited by not a single voter. Reporters described similar scenes in other cities and towns.

In the run-up to the election, both the Karzai government and the foreign media claimed that security would be the main factor in affecting the turnout. Yet the Taleban forces still fighting declared an election-day truce, not surprisingly, since many Taleban members and leaders were candidates. They included Maulvi Qalamuddin, once head of the notorious Taleban Department for the Prevention of Vice and the Promotion of Virtue, in charge of whipping women for not covering themselves from head to toe and of public executions by stoning. Like many others, Qalamuddin was covered by a Karzai-sponsored amnesty programme designed to bring the Taleban into the new government. Other candidates included the former Taleban intelligence minister, foreign minister and military commanders. These men downplay their more recent past by emphasising their earlier careers as jihadi, fighters in the US-backed Islamic fundamentalist holy war against the Soviet occupation that ended in 1989. Ironically, they have been joined by prominent members of those pro-Soviet governments in the scramble for seats in the Karzai regime, Afghanistan’s latest occupation government.

“I’m not voting this time,” a Kabul food stall seller told BCC. “They’re all warlords.” A report for the British broadcaster said that many people dismissed the candidates with a phrase meaning they all have “blood on their hands”. Final results of this election are to be made public 22 October.

Supporters of the Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan distributed a leaflet in Kabul and many provincial areas in the period before the election.

It begins, “The puppet regime consists of traitors and the servants of the imperialist occupier, no matter what form that takes. This regime represents the main section of feudals and compradors. The managers of this regime are criminal elements and bandits and thieves who directly or indirectly have played an important role in the destruction of the country and the homelessness of millions of people.”

The leaflet concludes, “Considering all these obvious and clear facts, the C(M)PA calls for the complete boycott of this comedy show, this deception organised by the imperialists and local reactionaries that is called the election of Parliament and local councils. We call on all revolutionary, nationalist and democratic forces and figures and advanced masses to join actively in the campaign for the boycott of this reactionary imperialist election.”

According to reports, the leaflet was well received, especially by the students who were the first to get it and eager to discuss its points. It also made the regime and its thugs furious.

The following is excerpted from a much longer article appearing in the August (no. 8) issue of the C(M)PA’s publication Sholeh.

A huge number of Taleban and jihadi war criminals, powerful local bandits, reactionary mullahs, ex-Khalqi and Parchami criminals [Khalq and Parcham were the two revisionist, pro-USSR parties in power during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan], bureaucrats and technocrat traitors of Zahir Shah and Daoud Khan [the last two rulers of Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion] and ex fake leftists and real capitulationists have queued to enter the central Parliament and local councils of the puppet regime.

They announced their willingness to participate in the deceptive imperialist-reactionary election show and ultimately serve the US, British and other occupiers. All these varied forces were pulled into taking part in the presidential election game last year and today’s Parliament and local council elections by the attractions and money waved by the US and other occupier imperialists. Meanwhile, the people are being flooded by a mass of deceitful promises of economic, educational, health, agricultural and other projects by the imperialists and other foreign reactionaries.

These elections represent a market, but the buying and selling reflects not the kind of market typical of capitalist countries but rather a colonial and semi-feudal market... Election games in a country like Afghanistan are only a thin layer to cover the ugly face of semi-feudal and comprador [big businessmen dependent on foreign capital] despotic rule because the social-economic structure of its society doesn’t allow the development of democracy, even a bourgeois democracy [where the capitalists rule through elections]. The national bourgeoisie is usually too weak to create the ground for the realization of democracy…. The destruction of the prevailing socio-economic structure and continuing struggle along this road is essential for the creation and development of democracy in these countries. This task can only be led by the proletariat. In other words, democracy in the oppressed countries can only be realised by New Democratic Revolution, a national-democratic revolution under the leadership of the proletariat that would lead the country towards socialism and not capitalism.

The current elections for Parliament and the local councils of the puppet regime is the last ring in the chain forming the puppet regime, a chain that started with the conference of national traitors in Bonn and continued with the transfer of power to Karzai, the puppet of the US invaders and their allies. Since then, with the direct military, political and financial support of the invaders, they invented the Emergency Loya Jirga [council] and the Constitutional Loya Jirga so that the puppet regime could have an “elected” boss and a “constitution”.

Karzai, the head chosen at the Bonn conference and Emergency Loya Jirga, was then “elected” with the direct military, political and financial support of the occupiers. Since then the military, security and civil institutions of the puppet regime have also more or less taken form with the direct help of the occupiers. But all these imperialist occupation measures have not led to a stable and powerful regime in Afghanistan. A puppet regime is by nature shallow and empty and cannot have real power. Such a regime is like a parasite dependent and reliant on foreign masters. It cannot breathe or even exist without the help of the imperialist occupiers.

The elections for the puppet regime’s national Parliament and local councils are supposed to create the law-making branch of this regime and officially complete its formation. After that Afghanistan is supposed to have all three main branches of government, a judicial system, a law-making assembly and executive organs including a “national army” and “national police” and an “elected” president. So there should be no problem, and the “elected ruling power” would be able to control the country. If that were true, there would be no need for the presence of the foreign occupying forces in Afghanistan. These “guest” officers and soldiers should be able to happily go home. But this is not the case and it could not be like that. Completing the formation of this regime is completing the formation of a puppet regime, and the nature and character of this regime cannot be changed just like that. The puppet regime can continue its rule only by relying on the occupying imperialist forces and their direct political and financial support, so the colonial situation remains intact.

The tasks of the new Parliament 

The US-Afghan joint statement signed by George Bush and Karzai on 24 May 2005 at the White House made the colonial situation of the country official. The Parliament that is now forming, while calling itself the representative of the people, has the task of ratifying the already-signed and approved agreement and giving it legitimacy. This joint statement called for military cooperation in the name of “security” and “anti-terrorism operations”. Freedom of action for the US and its “International Coalition” is explicitly laid out. After formal and empty references to “consultations and agreed plans”, the statement surrendered Bagram airport and other military bases to the US-led occupying forces.

The clear fact is that the occupation armies are the main fighting force in Afghanistan. The armed forces of the puppet regime have not played a central role in the war in the past, and they still don’t. The “joint statement” makes even clearer what can be easily seen in other ways, that the armed forces of the puppet regime will not have a central role for a long time to come. The “joint statement” provides a license for the continuing occupation of Afghanistan.

Further, the task of the central Parliament and the local councils, in accordance with the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is to defend and protect the semi-feudal status of the country. This Parliament and the local councils have to act within the framework of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the will of the majority of members. It is already obvious that the ex-jihadi and ex-Taleban and the reactionary mullahs and powerful local commanders and bandits will make up the overwhelming majority of the central Parliament and local councils. For this reason the “law-making” branch of the puppet regime will, from a socio-economic point of view, tend to increasingly consolidate the semi-feudal relations. Politically they will strive for the consolidation of the Islamic Republic and culturally they will fight for the dominant semi-feudal culture. The criminal ex-Parchami and ex-Khalqi and bureaucrats and technocrats of Zhahir Shah and Daoud Khan and the ex-“leftist” capitulationists will form a small minority compared with the overwhelming majority of the Parliament. As the Loya Jirga experiences have shown and as the elections for Parliament and the local councils already indicate, this minority will follow the majority, either out of belief or fear. If there are cases when such a submission fails to occur, the majority will have no problem in going ahead anyway. This is why the formation of the regime’s “law-making” branch will strengthen the feudal tendency.

A certain number of seats in the Parliament and local councils are reserved for women. These women will have to act in agreement with and according to the dictates of the dominant Islamic atmosphere. They will not be able to stop anti-women laws or pass a law against the prevailing patriarchal chauvinism.

Despite all this, this minority section with a comprador nature dependent on different imperialist countries, mainly the US, will have a certain role to play in the framework of the regime’s legislative branch. To whatever extent they are not driven by feudal tendencies, they will be driven by their bourgeois comprador nature. So the regime’s “law making” body will fundamentally consist of feudal and bourgeois comprador representatives, and no other trends will be represented.

Considering what has been said above, it is the responsibility of all revolutionaries, democrats and patriots to resolutely boycott the Parliamentary elections of this puppet regime. They should not vote, and further, they should encourage others not to vote in this deceitful imperialist-reactionary game. This is the minimum required for the struggle for the independence of the country and the freedom of the people of the country in this situation.