Monday, September 19, 2005

Communists reemerge in Afghanistan, this time with US support?

from (via Angry Arab)
Peter Dimitroff, the country director of the National Democratic Institute, a leading, mostly US-funded NGO, ''appreciates the irony in his organization's support for former communist groups. ''We support all registered parties, but we support some in a deeper fashion. We like groups that get together on the basis of ideas not ethnicity or geographical background. That is why we are supporting groups like the communists with US money, which is kind of funny . . . They are good guys and well organized. They are the closest to a professional political party you can get."

In the traditionalist and highly conservative Afghan political context, the former communists are openly ''women-friendly," fielding a sizeable number of female candidates. Given the party's gender equity policy, it is hardly surprising that some of the leading women on the political scene have a communist affiliation. And the female quota -- which stipulates that 25 percent of the parliamentary seats will have to be filled by women even though they make up only 10 percent of the candidates' pool -- will undoubtedly boost not only female but also communist representation in parliament.

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