Watch part two

Taliban fighters are active in nearly half of Afghanistan and have called for a boycott of the presidential and provincial council elections to be held on August 20.

As the election draws closer, even Kabul, the capital city, has seen a dramatic increase in violence.

Ordinary Afghans are fed up with the corrupt and ineffective government of Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, but he leads the field of about 40 candidates. 

The US have pledged "absolute impartiality" in the elections, but its ongoing military operations in the country could help or hurt Karzai's chances.

If Afghans feel that the elections were rigged, or that Washington hand-picked the new president, what are the chances for a fresh outbreak of violence? Will the upcoming election help bring stability to this war-torn country, or add to its instability?

 

On Monday, Riz speaks with Michael Semple, a former deputy to the EU special representative to Afghanistan. He was expelled from the country by Karzai for holding talks with the Taliban. Also joining the programme will be Wahed Faqiri, a prominent Afghan journalist.

 

You can join the conversation. Watch this episode of the Riz Khan show live on Monday, August 10, 2009 at 2030GMT, with repeats on Tuesday at 0030GMT, 0530GMT and 1130GMT.

Source: Al Jazeera