Popular Sovereignty and Elections



Popular Sovereignty - Elections 



               The main problem realating to popular sovereignty and elections is that a lot of middle-east countries have governments that do not allow it's people to vote, or the government will allow them to vote, but they commit fraud in which the voters opinion actually does not count.  Article 21 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights reads:



So according to the United Nations, free and fair voting processes is considered to be a basic human right.


Recently, there have been two major violations of this right in two different middle-east countries:






In the 2009 elections in Afghanistan, voter fraud was a large issue.  There were about 30 candidates.  Karzai, one of the political condidates, won the election with 54.6% of the total votes, and it is thought that the Taliban forged votes in his favor.  The Taliban threatened to disrupt the vote prior to the election, which means they openly planned to commit voter fraud. There were around 800 fake polling centers that turned in thousands of forged votes in favor of Karzai. 





The Taliban tried to stop the people of Afghanistan from voting by using violence against those who vote.  Suicide bombings were very typical during the election process.  Some voters had their ink-stained finger cut off by Talilban insurgents.  (One's finger is stained during the voting process, to signify that he or she has voted--see picture above.)  At a high school in Kabul that was serving as a polling center, an explosion was set off and wounded and election monitor and shut down voting for a short period of time.  Police officers were killed using rockets and bombs.A total of 26 people were killed in Afghanistan on election day in election-day related incidents.  


The United States is currently involved in the issue, working on sorting out the votes and determining whether or not voter fraud was actually committed.  It is said that this process could take months to complete.






In 2007, Human Rights Watch declared that in the election in many states was so marred by fraud, violence, and voter intimidation that the results in those states should be cancelled and the polls should be re-run.  Foreign journalists and local observers in Nigeria reported watching ballot boxes being filled with fraudulent ballots in favor of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).  So in other words the fraud was committed in full view of the public. 


"In several key states, the Nigerian government failed completely in its obligation to conduct a free and fair election," said Peter Takirambudde, the Africa director at Human Rights Watch (Human Rights Watch, 2007).


On election day, armed men on motorcycles were seen driving toward Emohua local government headquarters in April of 2007, where they were involved in a firefight with military personell as well as police officers and stole stacks of ballot papers and other materials.  One man was deliberately set on fire because he saw what the men did at the government headquarters.  That man says he will never vote again, because the police cannot ensure their own security, and therefore could not ensure anyone else's security.







Paragraph 1 sources:




"Afghanistan" sources:














"Nigeria" sources: