Senate asks candidates to end political deadlock
KABUL: On Sunday, some Meshrano Jirga (upper house) members asked the two presidential candidates to negotiate an end to their dispute, as the prolonged electoral crisis has paralyzed the country.
The first round of the presidential election on April 5 did not produce a clear winner, triggering a runoff between the two leading contenders on June 14.
However, the runoff round was marred by fraud allegations after the preliminary results put Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the lead. His rival Abdullah Abdullah boycotted the vote count process and refused to accept the results.
The two candidates subsequently agreed to a full audit of the votes and to the formation of a national unity government in a deal brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The vote recount and auditing has finished but the announcement of the final results has been delayed pending formation of a unity government by the two candidates.
Abdullah’s camp had threatened to withdraw from the talks on the unity government if its demands were not met.
Speaking before the Meshrano Jirga session, Hidayatullah Rehaee, a lawmaker from central Bamyan province, said the top two vote-winners belonged to two rival groups, and would therefore be unlikely to come to a mutually agreeable power sharing arrangement which would be necessary for the formation of a government
“The electoral process has [been] prolonged too much, badly affecting people’s economy. I think the only solution lies in the creation of an interim government,” the lawmaker said.
But Senate chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar said that an interim government should not be installed under any circumstances because such a set-up was not in the country’s bestinterest.
“Nations go forward, why should we go back to the time 13 years ago?,” Muslimyar said in a reference to the year 2001 when President Karzai was chosen as the then interim government head.
“The presidential candidates should end their dispute for the sake of this long oppressed nation,” he demanded.
Muslimyar hoped the two candidates, who engage in daily negotiation with each other, would reach a positive outcome soon.
Lailuma Ahadi, a Meshrano Jirga member from the central province of Panjsher, said the prolonged electoral crisis has resulted in an unprecedented economic decline.
She urged the two candidates to form a national unity government for the greater interest of the country.
Without specifying names, the lawmaker alleged some election officials were involved in activities aimed at prolonging the electoral process. (Pajhwok)