Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Afghanistan – good news at last

11 October 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader
Afghanistan – good news at last

The arrival of democratic elections for the men and women of Afghanistan is a rare piece of good news in a nation which for decades has too often only generated tragic news stories, says Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"It is a great day for a society when its people are trusted and respected enough by their rulers to be given a say in their own government.

"From the first vote cast, by a young woman in a refugee camp in Pakistan, to the millions that followed, what we all witnessed was a progressive step forward away from the reaction, oppression and failure of the past," Matt Robson said. He said the fact that there is disagreement between candidates over aspects of the election process merely highlights how far Afghanistan has come.
"Afghanistan, like America four years ago, is now engaged in a debate about how fair the actual election was.

"It is a debate that is a million miles away from when the Taleban ran the show. Then, there was never any debate about whether an election was fair, mainly fair or flawed. In the dark old days, no one ever asked Afghanis for their views in a secret ballot election because the place was run by a reactionary, feudal tyranny," the Progressive MP said.

The largest group of independent election observers, the Free and Fair Election Foundations of Afghanistan, is reported to have concluded that the vote for President over the weekend was fair, but far from perfect. The election came just three years after the international community removed the Taliban dictatorship in Afghanistan for harbouring Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.

The participation of millions of female voters is noted by observers as a particularly significant achievement. Last week, international human rights group, Human Rights Watch, issued a report documenting widespread intimidation of women and said general insecurity threatened women's right to vote freely in the October 9 presidential elections.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election