Thursday 22nd February 2018,
The Transcript

Global Grab: Elections and reflections



The Issue: Afghanistan

Nearly 60 percent of the 12 million eligible voters turned out in the Afghani elections, said the New York Times. According to the United States Elections Project, 58.2 percent of Americans voted in the 2012 elections.

Saturday was the country’s first open election, and at least three of the eight candidates were considered contenders to replace current President Hamid Karzai.

During the elections, the Taliban had made threats to disrupt the election. According to the Washington Post, at least 23 people were killed on Election Day and the day before, and those who were killed were soldiers and police officers.

Even with the relative success of this election, it was not perfect.

The New York Times said voting did not take place in many rural districts in eastern and southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban presence is the strongest.

The Issue: Rwanda

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, which killed as many as 800,000 people.

Conflict stemmed from the Hutu ethnic group blaming the minority Tutsi group for shooting down the president’s plane, which killed him. According to the New York Times, the French have admitted to its “involvement in arming and equipping the government from 1990 to ’94.”

Today, the Hutus and Tutsis still fight in other African countries, but have actually reconciled in Rwanda.

The Issue: India

On the topic of elections, India is having an unprecedented experience.

This week starts the world’s largest election. Monday was the first wave of voting, according to CNN, by having the rural northeastern states of Assam and Tripura vote.

There are 814 million eligible voters in this election. The current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is stepping aside after a decade in charge, and according to the New York Times, opinion polls have “shown that voters are leaning toward the opposition…”

According to the Washington Post, “About two-thirds of the population is younger than 35. Voters are more urban and connected than ever before, and per capita income has risen dramatically.”

The New York times said the votes will not be counted until May 16.

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Emily can be reached at or @emilyfeldmesser

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