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Derailing Democracy in AfghanistanElections in an Unstable Political Landscape$
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Noah Coburn and Anna Larson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166201

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166201.001.0001

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“They Make Their Ablutions with Bottled Water”

“They Make Their Ablutions with Bottled Water”

Elites and the Decline of Accountability

(p.185) 8 “They Make Their Ablutions with Bottled Water”
Derailing Democracy in Afghanistan

Noah Coburn

Anna Larson

Columbia University Press

This chapter looks at the aftermath of the 2010 elections, in particular, and how the process has been manipulated at a national level by Hamid Karzai and other members of the ruling elite. Though Afghan politics has gone increasingly democratic over the years, it remains for the most part a ruse to assure the international community that Afghanistan is a “democratic country,” while the ruling elite engage in fraud, bargaining, and other corrupt practices. There was little constitutional incentive to keep executive power in check; as well, the international community had remained for the most part complacent as a jaded Afghan people faced blatant manipulations of the electoral processes, knowing that their votes counted for little, if at all.

Keywords:   2010 elections, Hamid Karzai, ruling elite, democratic country, Afghan politics, executive power, corrupt practices, international community, votes

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