Afghanistan - 2002 - Emergency Loya Jirga
The Afghanistan 2002 Emergency Loya Jirga created a transitional administration for the presidency and government of Afghanistan in June 2002, in the wake of the Taliban’s ouster from Kabul in 2001. President Hamid Karzai had assumed power with no legitimizing event from the Afghan populace, and there was no viable national structure to conduct elections at the time to provide such legitimacy. As such, it was decided in the Bonn Agreement of 2001 that a Loya Jirga (‘Grand Council’) would be convened, with representatives from all polities across Afghanistan coming to Kabul to act as proxies for the public and approve the presidential cabinet of ministers and formally confer power on President Karzai.
Dan Grant worked as the Chief of Staff for the international team that arranged the logistics of the Loya Jirga process in Kabul itself. He coordinated the organization of the Loya Jirga site (a disused polytechnic university outside of Kabul), delegated accreditation, security processes, and arrangement of press facilities. In addition, Dan Grant organized the air transportation of over a thousand delegates to Kabul from eight regional centers across Afghanistan. For the week of the Loya Jirga, he oversaw the day-to-day operations for the successful running of the site and coordinated with Afghan government officials, foreign government officials, and foreign military personnel to ensure that all elements of the process operated in sync.
In the recording above, you can hear Dan himself speak about his experience of observing the election for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI).